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Experience history at Confederate Memorial Park event

By JOYANNA LOVE/Senior Staff Writer

An opportunity to step back in time is coming to the Confederate Memorial Park through its annual Living History weekend on April 28 and 29.

The weekend will kick-off with free outdoor events for school groups from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 28.

Site director Bill Rambo said the park has held the Living History event for “several years and it has always been a big hit.”

“The purpose is to educate the kids and give them up close and personal [view] about the military and some of the aspects of the Civil War,” Rambo said.

While the Living History displays on April 28 are geared toward students, Rambo said the community is invited to attend.

“This is an opportunity where we have individual stations for the kids to explain to them the details and how these things worked and why, and to answer their questions,” Rambo said.

There are 13 different stations that can be experienced in any order. Some of the stations included are a barracks, commissary and guardhouse. Rambo said the stations are designed so groups can simply show up and enjoy the experience. Each station has a set amount of time to present before all of the groups go to the next station. Groups wanting to tour the museum in addition to the outdoor events will need to register ahead of time. There is a group rate charge of $2 for museum admission.

Those who cannot attend the April 28 event can experience an abbreviated version of the presentation the following day, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

On April 29, re-enactors will depict a skirmish at 1 p.m.

“[They] can see the cannons fire, the horses run and the men come forward and so forth,” Rambo said.

The battle will display cavalry, artillery and infantry soldiers.

“The crowd is right up in the action,” Rambo said. “The crowd is up on a hillside, so it’s like an amphitheater … everybody has a good seat.”

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets to sit on.

Rambo said he explains some aspects of the skirmish before it starts.

“Then afterward, we will form up all the troops and fire a volley in honor of our gallant ancestors,” Rambo said.

He said re-enactors research the era in order to accurately portray their character.

The first Living History event at the Confederate Memorial Park was held in 2010. The Confederate Memorial Park is located on the former site of the only Confederate veterans home in Alabama.