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Georgia Hopes to Turn Blue and Gray into Green

ATLANTA -- Georgia is gearing up for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, expecting it to be the most significant heritage tourism opportunity in coming years.

The commemoration is being called "CW150" and will run from 2011 to 2015 to coincide with the war, which lasted from 1861 to 1865.

Over the next four years, the state will spend close to $3 million promoting Civil War tourism, including roughly $726,000 this year.

Events are planned at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, the Atlanta Cyclorama, Stone Mountain Park and the Atlanta History Center.

Kennesaw Mountain, which already gets about 1.4 million visitors a year, could "easily see between 25 percent to 40 percent increase in visitation," said Superintendent Stanley Bond.

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, just south of Chattanooga, expects to see increased attendance, said Sam Weddle, acting park superintendent.