Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pirates, Indians, and Soldiers- oh my!

Back in 1996 I attended my first re-enactment. I worked for a nationwide not for profit, but at the local level and one of my job requirements was to assist in fund raising and one of our fundraisers was selling food at a re-enactment. I thought this was going to be hokey and stupid and ridiculous. I thought it was a bunch of grown men playing "cowboys and indians". I thought it was a reason for adults to play dress up. I whined and moaned and begged my boss to Not make me do it. She said if I would do it one afternoon that first weekend and if I hated it she would never ask me to do it again.

Because the time period was the early 1800s, there's a level of authenticity that had to be captured by all participants, according tot he rules and regulations as stated by the event organizers. All I can say is then I thought "this is STUPID!" But I knew I was going to have to dress in the period. And after going through all the costumes we had on hand to loan to volunteers, I decided to have one made for me. If I had to do something stupid, I would at least look good- and then I was going to donate my "costume" to the agency for which I worked.

And because we were serving food, that meant we were just poor colonists so I had to look like... well, a Pilgrim basically, or Ma Ingols in Little House on the Prairie rather than being English or French elegance.

So I got a chemise, a skirt, a dust cap, a lace up bodice and an apron. And I went. And it was FUN. It was one of the most exciting and fun activities I've ever done. I loved dressing up. I loved the story concocted about myself and the group I worked for. I loved the smell of the fire, the other participants, the entertainment of it all, the guests, the smell of smoke, the reenactment, the living history-- I just loved all of it. And for the four years I worked for that office I went to the re-enactment from open to close both days.

One thing I've been looking forward to since I got back to Civilization was taking a trek to this reenactment. So last weekend Curley and I went and it was awesome. I swear I can eat my way from one end of the site to the other- I love all the food cooked over the open fire pits. We had ribeye sandwiches and kettle corn. I could've eaten more- like the huge turkey leg, the fry bread with homemade applebutter, the ear of corn dipped in butter, the pork chop wrapped in new paper... and that's what I can think of that I wanted but didn't eat.

The entertainment was great; there was music, tons of authentic vendors and the living history everywhere was the best of all. The re-enactment was amazing. It was amazing and fun. I talked to several folks who really bring it to life. There are participants from all over the US, Canada and France. And the Indians are HOT. And when I say pirates, I want to point out that I don't mean Capt. Jack Sparrow "arugh" pirates but French Fur Trappers and traders having "pirate" like battle on the river- which is actually historically accurate as well.

Enjoy the view here since you couldn't all go with me! (And there are more pictures here!)

Love it all!

Your future reenactment participant,
Maggie Mae


Curley said...

You're right, it was awsome. Thanks for taking me with you.

Finn said...

Sounds like great fun.

We don't re-enact battles here, we just keep fighting them!!
Seriously though, I can think of one - held every year on 13th July, a re-enactment of the Battle of the Boyne originally fought in 1690.
I haven't ever been - I don't like the politics involved.

Maggie said...

Curley- you're welcome. And thanks for coming with! (and for my tickets!)

Finn- is attending political?

Anonymous said...

We have a few re-enactments around heg. Friends used to play the confederate side. One guy was always offered movie roles. He traveled all over. The first gun I ever shot was a black powder. It had a hell of a kick!


Maggie said...

Patti- isn't re-enacting so cool? I never shot a gun at one but those muskets are certainly awesome looking and sounding!

I was "kidnapped" by an indian once...

Beth Dunn said...

I'm loving your make over comment to come and read this blog. No seriously we went to Williams burgh a few years ago and I loved it!!! A bit different but it reminds me of the scene is Sweet Home Alabama--I love this stuff. shhh don't tell my father or he'll start making me go on these types of vacations rather than the beach type i prefer. Great pics and thx for the mention below.



Anonymous said...

It was fun. I only went twice.That was was down by Tampa.
The one by me is:

If you visit we can go. The gun I shot was a pistol. At the grounds there is a lot of smoke!

An Indian you say. Hmmmm. I would say something but it would be rude, crude and totally unacceptable!!


Maggie said...

Beth- OMG! I completely forgot about the scene in "Sweet Home Alabama"! That is soooo funny!

I'd love to go to Williamsburgh sometime and see what that's like!

And I think I could use a make over to be a bit more preppy and less history nerdy... LOL

Patti- we MUST go! that would be awesome!!!!! And there was tons of smoke from the weapons, as you can see from my pictures. They're not crappy quality- there's just a ton of smoke from the canons and pistols and muskets.

And Patti dear, when are we not rude and crude here?? LOL- and oh yes, they are usually very sexy. Makes me want to be bad bad bad things... ;)