Reenactors celebrate revolutionary war for Constitution Day in Nevada City
Revolutionary soldiers from Haslet’s Delaware Regiment will be doing battle with redcoats from the storied 33rd Regiment of Foot this weekend in Pioneer Park.
Cannons are out of the question, as the park is surrounded by residential housing, but musket fire will be heard. There won’t be any bullets, though.
“From 1775 to 1781 is the war we are fighting presently,” said John Hess from Somerset. “This is a living history event to help educate the public, have some fun while doing it, and learn something about what created this country.”
“Great Britain has been a thorn in our side, even though we are all British.” Hess said. “We are fed up, and a number of us want our own country.”
Despite more than two centuries passing since the events he’s referring to, Hess talks in the present tense.
He says there’s a thing called first-person reenactment, where participants never break character, but he doesn’t do that.
“We try to go in and out to give people a sense of history, with them being in it,” Hess said.
Hess and his colleagues with the Delaware Regiment, part of a nonprofit called the Brigade of the American Revolution, have set up a revolutionary-war era camp in Pioneer park, complete with wedge-tents, a bell of arms and a marquis — or a large tent for officers.
They also have a replica of Thomas Jefferson’s lap desk.
Hess has been doing this sort of thing for more than 10 years. His son Eric Hess got him involved, back when they were doing civil war reenactments.
“It’s interesting to learn about history,” Eric said. “I love sharing it with people and teaching them where we came from.”
“I really feel like you can’t be an active civic participant without knowing where we came from as a country,” Eric Hess said. “It’s really essential to being a good citizen; knowing what the political process is, how it works, and why you involve yourself.”
This weekend’s festivities will include true-to-period demonstrations of traditional skills from civilians, a story-telling stage, as well as a flag raising ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. People who visit the revolutionaries in Pioneer Park will also be encouraged to talk with the British, who will be camped nearby.
Hours of operation will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday. After that, they’ll button up camp and head over to the 48th annual Constitution Day Parade at 2 p.m.
The parade will feature more than 100 entries, like marching bands, floats, and antique cars. The Ophir Prison Marching Kazoo Band will also be performing in the parade.
There will also be a reenactment of the signing of the Constitution at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, at the intersection of Broad and Pine streets.
To contact Staff Writer Dave Brooksher, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4230.
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