We Want You!
Fellow Rev. War reenactors, this is a call to arms—we need your help to not only keep the Forest Glen/Danville event alive, but make it annual!
That’s right. You heard me. Annual.
Forest Glen, just outside of Danville, Illinois, has always been an every-other-year Rev. War Reenactment, and a number of us think that’s why half of our reenacting force doesn’t even realize it’s on the NWTA schedule. Same deal with the public. That, or they see it and think, “Hmmm, that sounds fun, but I’m busy, so I’ll go next year,” and by the time it rolls around again, they’ve forgotten it even exists.
Which is so sad! Forest Glen is my absolute favorite event. The battlefield is actually cool. There are reenactor competitions with awesome prizes. And because it’s in the middle of a forest preserve, there aren’t any man-made distractions like street lights, busy roads, etc. The event is simply charming!
I have to admit, I fell in with the majority of reenactors for years. In high school and throughout college, a couple people told me, “Don’t skip Danville…it’s an awesome event!” But because most of my friends weren’t going, I didn’t go.
All of those years I could have been playing my fiddle in the homestead cabin at night, while others played cards, strummed guitars, sang Father Son & Friends folk tunes, and enjoyed all that merriment with only candle light and the fire in the hearth to light their way….
(We still do that by the way. I’m just sad for all the years I missed out on, especially because I find enjoying those moments is more difficult now that I have babies).
Then I met the Rhodens from Worthington’s unit, and married Thomas. If you don’t know, my father-in-law is Forest Glen. He’s the superintendent there, so he kind of runs the event from both sides: the NWTA and the park.
Very recently, my father-in-law let us know that the park needs help funding the event, so the Rhoden clan has been on a mission. We want to fully fund the event, and if we do, there’s a good chance we can make the event annual. We’re also boosting our efforts to bring public out to the site. But we need reenactors to support the event and, you know, be there.
Plus, we’re trying to bring even more energy to the event this year. We’re going to read the Declaration of Independence on the cabin steps, and hopefully have a rowdy crowds of colonists dispersed by British soldiers. A gaggle of Continental women are going to gossip about an original 1775 newspaper article describing the events of Lexington in full biased glory. Hopefully they too will be joined by a crowd and then dispersed.
We’re also going to have a workshop given by a seasoned reenactor who makes rope line discussions look like an art. This NWTA member always manages to gather an audience and he’s going to share his secrets with whomever wants to hear them.
And last but not least, our 2016/17 commander is organizing a battlefield tactical that, up until this point, has been listed as “tentative.” I’m happy to announce that it’s going to happen, and we may even get to do it twice! Once Saturday morning in lieu of a battle, and again Saturday evening if soldiers are willing.
Here’s the thing: to keep the NWTA going, we can’t get stale. We need energy and enthusiasm, and there’s a team of us making sure the Forest Glen/Danville event not only holds the torch, but holds it high.
For more information about registering or attending this free admission event, either as a reenactor or part of the public audience, visit http://www.nwta.com/event/forest-glen-preserve/ or http://www.vccd.org/activities.html. The Forest Glen/Danville Reenactment is this weekend, September 26th (10am to 5pm) and September 27th (10am to 4pm), 2015.