Cavalry and Canons on the Kankakee

This year at our April 30th – May 1st Bourbonnais Rev. War Reenactment of 2016, we get to be the first NWTA event with horses! This is kind of a huge deal. In preparation, the First Dragoons unit has been working their tails off.

Or their horses’ tails…you know, whichever. 🙂

But in all seriousness, the dragoons spent the last couple years researching other reenactment cavalry troops and managed to convince our NWTA board that this can be done safely and effectively. They have a number of well trained horses and riders, and they’re very excited about their demonstration.

1st Regiment Light Dragoons 5th Troop, photo used with permission. Click here for their Facebook page.
1st Regiment Light Dragoons 5th Troop, photo used with permission. Click here for their Facebook page.

Something Rev. War reenactors should know who have maybe been out of the loop: the First Dragoons have worked hard to make sure that everyone feels comfortable about this. No one who feels uncomfortable around or with horses will have to have anything to do with them. They camp separately and demonstrate separately, and they won’t be on the field for the main battle. Someday we may be in a position to incorporate horses into the battles, but from what I understand, that’s a long way off.

This year, the Bourbonnais event will be held at Perry Farm, very near the Kankakee River. I love that event site. It’s where I met my husband after all. So I’m very pleased that our unit, the Continental Marines, is hosting the event for the first time this year. And yes, we’re bringing the canon, which will be on the field for the main battle.

Last year at Perry Farm, picking cherries from the trees.
Last year at Perry Farm, picking cherries from the trees.

We’re also trying to incorporate fresh ideas to the event to give it some new spunk. The guys are working to make morning drills exciting and fun. And we’re giving kids in our audience runaway ads, with a reward for finding the runaways amongst the troops/civilians.

After hours, I’m heading up an informal Paddle Dance for reenactors (8:30pm under the park’s picnic shelter). I say “informal” because I won’t have live music and because the paddle dance is an extremely simple folk dance. I’ll have a couple other easy dances up my sleeve if we want to change it up, but I’ve seen the paddle dance last quite a while, so I’ll play it by ear.

A quick heads up for any public interested in coming out to see us, the event isn’t free.  Entrance into the Perry Farm reenactment is $8 for adults and $5 for kids 6-12. At least kids 5 and under are free. We have no control over this, unfortunately, but I hope that won’t deter you from coming out if you’re interested. I mean…horses and canons and muskets, oh my!

April 30 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, & May 1 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Perry Farm 
300 N Kennedy Dr
Bradley, IL 60915 United States

Click here for the Bourbonnais Township website for this 2016 event.

See you there! Oh, and I made Jack an adorable little frock so he looks more like a boy while still staying authentic. Should be adorable…at least, with the amount of work I put into this thing, it better be. 😉

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