WILLIAMSBURG, Va., March 2, 2015 — Hundreds of re-enactors depicting armed forces from the first century A.D. to modern times will come together for one weekend on Saturday and Sunday, March 21 and 22, for Jamestown Settlement’s “Military Through the Ages” event.
This chronological display of military history, held each year at Jamestown Settlement since 1984, will feature more than 35 groups based in Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Military re-enactors and modern-day units will show how uniforms, weapons and military tactics evolved through the centuries, as well as aspects of field communication and medical treatment. The event also showcases a variety of military vehicles and equipment. Visitors are encouraged to interact with re-enactors to learn how soldiers attired and armed themselves, as well as how they were fed and housed in times of war.
Weekend highlights include musical performances, artillery firings, a Saturday children’s parade and a Sunday military pass-in-review. Merchants also will be on hand to sell reproduction wares.
Timeline from the Roman Legion to the Virginia Army National Guard
More than 450 re-enactors will portray soldiers and military encounters from Roman times, the medieval period, Hundred Years’ War, War of the Roses, French and Indian War, American Revolution, War of 1812, and American Civil War. Re-enactors depicting World Wars I and II, the Vietnam War and the Falklands War will take visitors through the 20th century. The National Museum of the Marine Corps and the Virginia Army National Guard will represent the present.
Musical Performances Spanning Five Centuries
Music spanning five centuries will be performed throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday, including the booming sounds of The Federal City Brass Band, re-creating a Union Army regimental brass band from the 1860s, and Ladies for Liberty, singing Andrews Sisters-style music of the World War II era.
Performances also feature folk musician Bob Zentz; Barry and Lynn Trott, with music of the 16th and 17th centuries; David Gardner, performing 18th-century Scottish fiddle; David and Ginger Hildebrand, playing music of the American colonial period and the War of 1812; and the Old Cigar Box String Band, offering string band versions of songs from the American Revolution to the 20th century.
Artillery, Children’s Parade, Military Pass-in-Review
Comparative artillery-firing demonstrations will be presented at noon Saturday and Sunday, with weapons ranging from a 17th-century swivel gun to a modern-day howitzer. A children’s parade at 1 p.m. Saturday, allows young “troops” to march through the museum’s re-created colonial fort and re-enactor campsites to formally present ribbons to each of the participating military units.
A military pass-in-review, led by The Federal City Brass Band, will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday and will feature recognition of re-enactor units judged on camp sites, clothing and cooking presentations, and field demonstrations.
Military Aspects at Jamestown Settlement
Arms, armor and military accouterments of 17th-century Virginia can be seen inside Jamestown Settlement’s extensive galleries, featuring films and interactive exhibits that tell the story of America’s first permanent English colony and of the Powhatan Indian, European and African cultures in 1600s Virginia. Families can experience hands-on activities, such as trying on reproductions of English helmets and breastplates, in outdoor re-creations of a 1610-14 English fort, a Powhatan village, and the three ships that brought English colonists to Virginia in 1607 – Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery.
Jamestown Settlement is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily year-round. Admission is $16.75 for adults and $7.75 for ages 6-12. Children under 6 are free. A value-priced combination ticket with the Yorktown Victory Center, a museum of the American Revolution, is $21.00 for adults and $10.50 for ages 6-12. Residents of James City and York counties and the City of Williamsburg, including College of William and Mary students, receive complimentary admission to both museums with proof of residency. Parking is free.
“Military Through the Ages” is funded in part by a grant from James City County.
Jamestown Settlement is located on State Route 31 near the Colonial Parkway in James City County, just southwest of Williamsburg and adjacent to Historic Jamestowne. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838, or visit www.historyisfun.org.
A full schedule of events is available at www.historyisfun.org.