Each year history buffs don their seersucker suits, hats and floral prints at the peak of spring bloom for one of the biggest parties of the year. The Virginia Historical Society's Garden Party gathers 600 guests to the Virginia House's gorgeous terraced gardens overlooking the James River. "Some people join VHS just to come to this party," says VHS's Jennifer Guild. "I think people love to get dressed up in gloves and hats and be in the garden."
In the true spirit of Alexander and Virginia Weddell, the home's original owners who often entertained in the gardens, the party is a fitting celebration for the 178-year-old VHS. Live jazz by the East-West Trio filled the air while members enjoyed crab cakes, mint juleps and, of course, Virginia-ham biscuits.
This year, members had another reason to celebrate: new president and CEO Dr. Paul Levengood, a Philadelphia native who has been with the VHS for nine years.