You can learn about the Civil War from a history book, but this weekend, there's a better way. Civil War re-enactors will set up camp on Saturday in Centennial Park.
By CHERI MCSPADEN
You can learn about the Civil War from a history book, but this weekend, there’s a better way. Civil War re-enactors will set up camp on Saturday, Aug. 9, in Centennial Park.
“This a wonderful way, for anybody really, to get exposure to this period of American history,” said Chris Kleinjans, director of education for the Holland Museum. “There’s something that you get from visiting an encampment of re-enactors and living historians that you cannot get out of a book. It’s really a chance to engage directly with the past.”
This year’s Civil War Encampment in Centennial Park, organized by the Holland Museum, is a small-scale kickoff to what will be an annual Civil War Muster at Van Raalte Farm, beginning next summer. Planners envision it as the premier Civil War event in the region, promoting heritage tourism.
Richard Veenhoven, vice president of private banking for Fifth Third Bank and chairman of the board for the Holland museum, said in addition to being educational and entertaining, next year’s event will draw visitors from Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
“We think the re-enactment in July of ’09 will not only support the Holland Museum and the Zeeland Historical Society, but we also expect that this will bring activity to the downtown and support the hospitality industry in our community,” he said. “Fifth Third is the major sponsor, but a number of other corporate sponsors are excited about the impact we expect it to have on our community.”
WHEN: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday: 12:30 p.m. medical demonstrations; 1 p.m. period music begins; 1:30 p.m. period orator calls for volunteers; 2 p.m. spectator “enlistment”; 3 p.m. company drill by re-enactors; 3:30 p.m. food demonstration and sampling
WHERE: Centennial Park, on 10th Street between River and Central in Holland
INFORMATION: Contact (616) 392-9084 or www.hollandmuseum.org.