Reynoldsburg News

Civil War reenactment moves to Ohio Village

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The boom of Civil War cannons will not be heard in Reynoldsburg this month, even though successful reenactments for the past five years drew thousands of spectators to Civic Park.

Diehard battle aficionados need not worry, however, since they can visit Ohio Village this weekend for "A House Divided: A Civil War Reenactment and Living History Weekend."

The reenactment will take place over two days at Ohio Village at the Ohio History Center, 800 E. 17th Ave., in Columbus. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 21, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 22.

Admission to the Ohio History Center costs $10 for adults, $9 for senior citizens, $5 for children ages 6-12. Children age 5 and younger are admitted free, as are all Ohio History Connection members.

For questions, call 1-800-686-1541.

Pete D'Onofrio, president of the Society of Civil War Surgeons, based in Reynoldsburg, said last year's Reynoldsburg reenactment on June 22 drew about 500 reenactors and more than 2,000 spectators. Admission was minimal, a $1 donation.

He said the change in location this year is partly due to what he considered "less support" from the Reynoldsburg Parks and Recreation Department, in providing help with parking and portable toilets, but also just the sheer hard work involved in planning and coordinating the event.

"Those of us on the planning committee, for well over five years now, and even before that, when the event was held in conjunction with the Tomato Festival, are frankly older and burned out," D'Onofrio said. "The location at Ohio Village has an actual Civil War era village connected with the event, which made it an even better location for us."

Parks and Recreation Director Joe Brown said his department gave the event plenty of support last year.

"It is my understanding that they are not having the event here because organizers were tired of coordinating such a large event," he said. "This was not something we could shoulder on our own -- we were willing to provide the park and support as far as port-a-potties, electric support and other things, but do not have the manpower to coordinate the event."

D'Onofrio said the Society of Civil War Surgeons is hoping to make the reenactment an annual event at Ohio Village.

"We are encouraging people who enjoyed the event in Reynoldsburg to go to the Ohio Village reenactment," he said. "I think we had a bigger space in Reynoldsburg, but what is nice is the mid-1800s Ohio Village.

"You get the feeling that you are actually back in a town during the Civil War," he said.

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