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We were able to spend a few hours on Saturday evening at the Civil War Remembrance at Greenfield Village this year. The weather was quite warm for this time of year and very humid. The women in their heavy dresses and the men in their long wool pants, shirts and coats perspiring and red cheeked, but not complaining.
Many were sitting around small fires, cooking their evening meals-mostly stews or boiled potatoes.
The Dodworth Saxhorn Band performed on the village green in front of the Town Hall. The band was in fine form, performing music from the Civil War era and the evening sun and the Greenfield Village Town Hall, bedecked in patriotic bunting provided a stunning backdrop for the band.
We treated ourselves to vanilla frozen custard and bottled water. The small sized custards are decent sized so we choose to split two of them for four of us.
Many of the houses were closed in the evening, so if this is your only planned visit to Greenfield Village this year, you will want to come before 5pm to experience more of the activities. Still, we enjoyed the more relaxed, less crowded atmosphere. The trains, Model-T's and carousel were all running, and many families seemed to be enjoying those experiences.
The Dodworth Saxhorn Band, a 19th century brass band playing on period instruments plays at a variety of places and are well worth checking out. Their version of Grafulla's Favorite Waltz is available on iTunes®.
If you are looking for a truly memorable experience for your family on Memorial Day weekend look no further than the Civil War Remembrance at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.
This annual event brings together volunteer re-enactors, regular Greenfield Village volunteers in costume and the staff to provide a glimpse at what life was like during the Civil War.
Depending on the weather, it is likely to be quite crowded, but there is so much to see and do on this day, you might not let the crowds be too much of a deterrent. We enjoy getting there early in the morning to smell the coffee cooked in pots over the campfires. If you go on Saturday, with the extended hours until 9 pm, folks with young children might want to sneak back to the hotel for a nap or a dip in the pool before returning for the evening events.
In addition to witnessing the campsites, there is musical entertainment, battle re-enactments, and numerous other activities during the day. Definitely check out the Greenfield Village website for more details.
It is difficult to say that this is a "fun" experience, given the seriousness of the event that is being memorialized but I personally believe the event is tastefully done- honestly providing accurate historical information, without being overdone. Critics of re-enactments often point to the sanitized nature of the events they portray. If that is your opinion then this event might not be for you.
It is difficult to say how an individual child might be impacted by certain experiences, so of course please use your judgement. If your child is very sensitive or easily over-stimulated then you might want to experience Greenfield Village at a different event. However, the way the event is set-up you can easily avoid all of the battle scenes and explore the other aspects of life during that time period.
For me, it is a solemn reminder to be truly grateful to live in the time I live in, as this event serves as a clear marker of how much we have progressed and how much has been sacrificed to get to this moment in history.