By Jennifer Lazzo
Surrounded by homes and community parks, the Manassas Park Community Center is a welcome and unexpected surprise. This hidden gem boasts a 3,480-square-foot banquet hall with neutral décor – perfect for showcasing any event’s theme.
“When people think of a community center, they don’t think of the functionality of what we have,” said Amelia Powell, customer service supervisor for the Center. “We have the large banquet hall and the pre-function area, or cocktail area, which gives flexibility to the event.”
The banquet hall can be divided into two smaller spaces, each seating 115; the full hall can seat up to 230 guests. While many clients use the pre-function space to host cocktail hour, some have added tables to the space to accommodate larger events.
Redesigned and rebuilt just seven years ago, the Center also has a spacious catering kitchen with a six-burner gas range, convection and warming ovens, an ice machine and two entrances for concurrent events. It’s a source of pride for Powell.
“Our full-sized catering kitchen makes it very easy to have a large function,” she said. “I can’t tell you how many times a caterer has walked in and said, ‘Wow!’” The Center maintains a preferred vendor list to assist clients with choosing a caterer, if needed.
Clients who wish to have their wedding ceremonies on site may choose the nearby pavilion or the events hall itself. Powell noted that some have incorporated the ceremony into the layout, by having guests already seated at tables for both the ceremony and reception, while others have held the ceremony in the banquet hall and then had the space reconfigured for a dinner reception during cocktail hour.
The Center offers several wedding packages, such as the deluxe which includes the full hall, the catering kitchen, the pre-function area and a dance floor. “Packages are very helpful. You don’t have to worry about an ‘after hours’ fee since it’s a flat fee,” said Powell. The events space is available for anyone to rent, but residents of Manassas Park get a reduced rate.
Add-ons to the wedding packages include on-site alcohol, the teen center and childcare for up to 30 children. “Our typical childcare option is right across the hall from the banquet hall, so you can pop on over to check in and then return to the fun,” she said.
Having on-site childcare is just one of the many things that makes the Center a great place to hold a special event. “We are centrally located and a great meeting spot in the county,” Powell added.
The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street, Manassas Park. For more information, call 703-335-8872 or visit manassasparkcommunitycenter.com.
Jennifer Lazzo (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a freelance writer and editor who earned a B.A. in technical journalism and political science from Colorado State University. She lives with her husband and twin girls in Montclair.