Festival of Yesteryear: Featuring Revolutionary War and War of 1812
FAYETTEVILLE – The Museum of the Cape Fear’s annual Festival of Yesteryear will feature the histories of both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, to recognize its bicentennial. (For more information about the War of 1812 Bicentennial, go to www.nc1812.ncdcr.gov.) Mark your calendar for September 7, and plan to join us from 10am to 5pm for a day of living history activities; and then return that evening at 6pm for a Regency Ball. Both events are free and open to the public.
America’s victory over Great Britain ended the Colonial period in our nation’s history. However, 30 years later America once again found itself at war with England. What happened during those 30 years? How was our fledgling country developing? How did we end up in another war against Great Britain in so short a time? A special “Timeline Tunnel” at the festival will answer these questions. Visitors can pass through a canvas-top tunnel to see a panel exhibit that make the connections between the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.
For the Colonial side, re-enacting groups scheduled to appear include, Capt. Dry’s Company, and the 71st Highland Regiment. Camp Flintlock from Four Oaks, NC, a regular at the festival, will provide many hands-on activities: dress-up, writing with quill and ink, as well as play music and demonstrate fire-pit cooking. “Apprentice Alley” is a special children’s corner for learning colonial trades. Children can make hats like a milliner, use stencils like a printer, or just have fun creating a rebus puzzle.
For the War of 1812 side, re-enactors from the Carolina Living History Guild and the 10th U.S. will show us two different branches of service: Navy and Infantry. Silhouette artists, Bill and Lee Ann Rose from Williamsburg, VA, will make your silhouette; a very popular way to capture people’s “likeness” during this time. (A small fee is charged for this activity so come prepared.) Throughout the day musical historian Simon Spalding will perform songs and sea chanties popular during the War of 1812. At 1pm, Mr. Spalding will perform a formal concert. He will also teach French checkers and allow visitors to play. The rules have varied over time.
At 3pm there will be a Regency dance workshop. The Regency Assembly of North Carolina, based out of the Triad, along with dance caller Jack Maus from Virginia, will teach a few dances from the Regency time period. “The Regency Ball is free and the dance workshop, or rehearsal if you will, is there for people to learn a few dances and movements so they will be encouraged to attend the ball and feel comfortable dancing,” says Leisa Greathouse, Curator of Education and coordinator for the event. “If you have ever seen a movie based on a Jane Austen novel like Pride and Prejudice,” says Greathouse, “you will be learning some of those dances. By the way, the novel Pride and Prejudice turned 200 years old in January of this year.”
Then at 6pm the Regency Ball starts. Music will be performed by Syllabub and the dances called by Maus. “I have had the privilege of dancing at three different Regency balls called by Mr. Maus,” says Greathouse, “and I have learned the basic and common dance steps for this time period. Syllabub is a trio of musicians who specialize in the music from the era. Maus and Syllabub have worked together at a previous event.”
The ball will be held in the social hall of St. Michael the Archangel Maronite Catholic Church, directly across the street from the front of the museum. Greathouse stated, “We appreciate what great neighbors they are to share their space with us.”
“The festival, which includes the living history activities during the day will take place at Arsenal Park, but we want visitors to remember that the museum and 1897 Poe House will be open and operating as usual. Inside the museum will be a special War of 1812 exhibit on display. Tours of the 1897 Poe House will be available at the top of each hour, with the last tour of day starting at 4pm,” concludes Greathouse.
Each year the Festival of Yesteryear takes place the first Saturday after Labor Day, the same time as the Lafayette Birthday celebration. For more information about Lafayette Birthday events occurring on Sept. 6-8, please go to www.LafayetteSociety.org.
The Festival of Yesteryear is an educational event about the history of early America. This project is supported by the Arts Council in part by contributions from businesses and individuals, and through grants from the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County and the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Cultural Resources. Matching funds are being provided by the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex Foundation, Inc.
Activities and scheduled appearances are subject to change without notice. To view online information, please visit these two websites: http://bit.ly/Festival-Of-Yearyear and http://bit.ly/Regency-Ball. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (910) 486-1330.
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The Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex, located on the corner of Bradford and Arsenal avenues in Fayetteville, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is part of the Division of State History Museums, Office of Archives and History, within the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council, and the State Archives. The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources serves as a champion for North Carolina’s creative industry, which employs nearly 300,000 North Carolinians and contributes more than $41 billion to the state’s economy. To learn more, visit www.ncculture.com.
Bill and Lee Ann Rose from Williamsburg, pose in front of their business sign.