It’s always a fun event and includes so many events that it’s impossible to do them all. I worked pretty hard most of the day and didn’t make it to several major events that I really wanted to see. The ones that I did see were universally excellent.
The main draw and the center of the event revolves around the various reenactors. Represented this year were reenactors from colonial era America through the Vietnam War. It’s hard for me to think of the Vietnam War as of a piece with the Civil War, but time has passed and so it is.
Some of the reenactors take specific historic roles, such as Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee and their wives. I suspect others may have taken on a particular persona, but those were the ones I could identify. Since they enjoy playing the roles, they are always amenable to photographs, which makes it great fun for photographers. And isn’t everybody a photographer these days?
Many of the costumed reenactors also gave demonstrations of some art, craft or skill related to their era. The Civil War surgeon talked about his tools and trade. Others spun yarn, made baskets, smithed iron, displayed military formations and commands and otherwise offered generous portions of education to go along with the fun.
Booths offered crafts as well as information. The Friends of the Library, Suffragists, brass bands dedicated to period music and many more covered Krutch Park extension. A children’s activity area allowed the children to engage in similar activities to some of the historic arts represented. The children also enjoy a David Crockett birthday celebration, though I missed that part this year.
I also took a tour of the Merchants Bank and Trust Building and watched Vintage baseball, but both of those deserve their own space, so I’ll get to them another day. I listened to some of the music on the WDVX stage and particularly enjoyed when Erin Ott joined in with the David West Ciderville bunch. She’s a talented young girl.
But that leaves large swaths of the fair that I just couldn’t get to. I really wanted to see some of the films being offered in the Bijou, but missed them all. Several programs were offered in the East Tennessee History Center, including Sean McCollough’s program. Walking tours and bus loops to historic places left throughout the day, but I couldn’t make them, either.
There’s always next year and you might want to go ahead and mark your calendars for next August. And, heck, bring your camera and add to the glut of photographs. If you want to see more of mine, you can see them here.