We are resident volunteers at the Dade Battlefield Historic State Park. This is our third winter at the park but only our second re-enactment that we volunteered. The first year we arrived the week after the re-enactment. It really is an exciting weekend as the participants take it seriously, but have a lot of fun preparing for battle, even though it only lasts for about 40 minutes.
The camps are abuzz with the planning and setting about the routine of gathering firewood and preparing the evening meals and coffee brewing over an open fire. Most of the soldiers and the Seminoles participating have done this before, so they know what to expect each year. You guessed it: The soldiers get massacred each time, Saturday AND Sunday. They do it each day.
And if the weather is good, the battle can attract up to 2,500 folks in a weekend. Above shows the folks attending on Saturday this past January. Just to the right is the stage, or the small battlefield where the participants put on their show. The soldiers and Seminoles are in full, or very near full, period dress.
I was quite busy doing my volunteering duties as one of the ADA shuttle drivers transporting those needing assistance, from the parking lot to the center of the park where there were many food and period reproduction artifact vendors.
I will provide a few pics of the folks that were displaying their wares for display and sale of course.
Above, Ranger Kristen Wood attending to the small concession stand of the DBHSP.
Above, Park Manager doing weapons checks prior to the re-enactment. Each weapon must be checked prior to each battle re-enactment.
If you want to know more about the history of the battle that took place here at DBHSP, Wikipedia has a good short chapter. You tube has the re-enactments folks have posted and last for about 30 minutes.
Above, Jean McNary (sp?) Dade Battlefield Society board member and past president, chats with Fran Laumer and his wife. Frank has authored books on the battle, most popular being "Dade's Last Command" and is in print. Below, his also holding his latest effort, "Nobody's Hero". Frank also is the Army's re-enactment narrator, as played as the voice of Ransom Clark, one of the three survivors Dade's Command.
Above and below, volunteers Cindy and Judie demonstrating some the items of the the period, and spinning an item on the wheel.
More volunteers and some of the Dade Junior Pioneers. The weekend would be nothing if not for the many volunteers that show up each day to do their part in making the event a success each year.
Above, volunteer couple (resident type) attending at the parking lot, just outside the park. Below, John Griffith, Seminole re-enactor, posing with a young future Seminole perhaps.
Below, folks walking from the parking lot into the park.
Well that about wraps up the events as I remember and the photos associated with those events. If in the area during the first weekend of January, I recommend taking in one of the days events. It's a day you'll not soon forget, especially for the young and young-at-heart.
We are the RVing Beach Bums, Joe and Nancy Carrier. This blog written contemporaneously this 15th day of May, 2015, from Fort Smith, Arkansas, at the Panera Bread Company.