Hampton celebrates its 400th anniversary

Hampton marks 400 years with yearlong party

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In 1610, English colonists settled on the site of the Kecoughtan Indian Village. Four hundred years later, the City of Hampton is throwing a yearlong party to celebrate its 400th anniversary.

The site of America’s first continuous English-speaking settlement, Hampton is encouraging residents and visitors to commemorate its maritime and aviation heritage. The celebration includes special takes on annual activities such as the Blackbeard Pirate Festival and Hampton Bay Days, along with distinctive projects and exhibits. Organizers are compiling an oral history featuring the recollections of more than 100 Hampton residents on everything from Elvis Presley’s concerts at Hampton Coliseum to stock car racing at Langley Speedway.

As the city celebrates its past, it also looks to the future with the development of Peninsula Town Center, a $276 million mixed-use retail, residential and office project that replaced the fading Coliseum Mall. The largest economic development investment in Hampton’s history, the center opened more than 50 stores and restaurants in March. Twenty additional stores and restaurants, many new to the state or Hampton Roads, will soon join them. Bryant & Stratton College also has selected the center for a location, becoming its first major office tenant. “It’s a great land-use issue,” says Dana Dickens, president and CEO of Hampton Roads Partnership. “It has all the opportunities to live, work and play without having to drive someplace.”

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