Friends of Vicksburg
National Military Park & Campaign
Please consider a tax-deductible donation to help us reach the $2,000 we need daily to keep the Vicksburg National Military Park open during the government shutdown.


Open For Business: Friends Group Keeps VNMP Open During Government Shutdown

Vicksburg, Miss., Saturday, December 29, 2018 -
Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign, the official non-profit partner organization of VNMP, has committed to fund basic operations to keep the Vicksburg National Military Park open during the government shutdown, through the help of generous donors and partners.  The tour road, the Visitor Center, the U.S.S. Cairo Gunboat and Museum, the Vicksburg National Cemetery and all restrooms will be kept open in the event of a government shutdown. Minimal staff to operate those sites and protect VNMP including essential interpretive rangers, maintenance staff, and law enforcement staff will facilitate the operations to ensure the shutdown has as little impact on the visitor experience as possible.  

Government funding, which pays to operate the Vicksburg National Military Park, expired on Friday, December 21, 2018, at midnight.  The costs associated with covering the daily staff to protect the resources, ensure the visitor experience is not affected by the shutdown, and keep the park open is approximately $2,000 per day.  Today marks one week that Friends of VNMP and Campaign has funded the continued operations of the park.

“Vicksburg National Military Park represents such an important chapter of America’s story.  We never want even one visitor to be turned away from our Park,” said Bess Averett, Executive Director of Friends of VNMP and Campaign.  “We are fortunate to have staff at VNMP who share our passion for this historic place and its story and have worked to pioneer this opportunity to provide an option to keep VNMP open during the government shutdown."

VNMP is the most visited tourist attraction in Mississippi.   Over half a million visitors a year travel from all over the nation and world to visit VNMP and are vital to the local and regional economy.  The latest Economic Impact Study released from the National Park Service shows that for every one dollar spent on basic operations at VNMP, the economic impact on the region is $10. 

“VNMP will remain open.  As the official Friends Group for the Park, we work together all year on important projects and events for VNMP.  We can think of no higher priority project we can take on than keeping the gates and museums open and sharing this amazing treasure with the public,” said Averett.   “We are grateful for our donors and supporters that help us keep VNMP open through the uncertainty of government shutdowns.”