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Town of Bedford helps businesses market, prepare for visitors coming for D-Day 75th anniversary

About 20,000 people are expected to flock to Bedford County D-Day event June 6

BEDFORD, Va. – Rain or shine, come June 6 about 20,000 people are expected to flock to Bedford County to celebrate the 75th anniversary of “Operation Overlord” also known as D-Day.

“Visitation at the National D-Day Memorial is around 50,000 in any given year. So when you’re looking at a little less than half of that in just one day, that of course is a major opportunity for our businesses to really show what they have to offer,” Angela Lynch, associate director of marketing for National D-Day Memorial Foundation, said.

Helping local businesses in downtown Bedford market to potential visitors is economic development coordinator Mary Zirkle.

“We want them to know that No.1 that it’s going to happen and, No. 2 talk about what we can offer to them for training in preparation for that,” Zirkle said.

Zirkle said on Monday mornings from March 4 through April 1, business owners can attend sessions to help market themselves prior to the weeklong event.

“So the skills they’ll get, the tips they’ll get and the marketing plan or the forecasting plan that they come out with will help them to grow and improve their presence in Bedford,” Zirkle said.

Town leaders said though the big commemoration is several months away, it will be a group effort to get people to travel into town.

“Working with D-Day that’s going to be the first connection there is, they are also helping too to direct people to downtown. So they know it’s not just D-Day at 460 that there’s more to the town,” Zirkle said.

To learn more about activities planned for the week go to https://www.dday.org/75th/.