CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- 150 years after shots fired upon Fort Sumter began the Civil War, a battle brewing on Capitol Hill may threaten the commemoration of the historic event in Charleston.
"There's a bit of sadness because the Fort is the main character in this drama and it's like putting on a play without your main character," Executive Director of the South Carolina Historical Society Faye Jensen said.
The spotlight over Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter has been redirected towards Washington as Congress continues their discussions over a budget. If they don't come to an agreement by Friday, parts of the federal government would shut down.
Non-essential federal government employees may be affected including the National Parks Service. Fort Sumter is one of 394 parks that would close Friday at midnight if there is a government shutdown.
The National Park Service released this statement Tuesday –
"We remain hopeful there will not be a government shutdown but as President Obama stated, in the unfortunate event there is a shutdown, the National Park Service will be closed."
The National Park Service falls under the Department of Interior who also chimed in Tuesday responding to requests for comment on the possible cancellations of the Sesquicentennial Commemoration events where nearly 1,100 people are expected in Charleston for Tuesday.
"We still believe that there is the opportunity for Congress to avoid a government shutdown, but are working to prepare for all possible scenarios.
"Visitor activities that require a permit, including public events, will not be allowed or will be canceled or postponed. Visitors using overnight concession accommodations and campgrounds will be notified and given 48 hours to make alternate arrangements. The National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and some Bureau of Land Management roads will be closed except when they are necessary as thruways."
Many are still holding out hope that politicians in Washington will come through with a budget before the deadline. Wednesday afternoon, White House officials said President Obama would meet with Congressional leadership Wednesday evening.
If, a government shutdown does hinder plans at Fort Sumter, Jensen reminds those in Charleston that there are many other non-federally sponsored events going on that will still happen regardless of any possible shutdown, including City of Charleston events.
Check back for updates as they become available.
CLICK HERE for more information on scheduled commemoration events.