Civil War Days at HB Central Park – a blast of fun and history

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Here’s a Labor Day weekend tradition we’re sure to keep – attending the Civil War Reenactment at HB Central Park. The annual two-day event was sponsored by the Huntington Beach Historical Society and included cannon blasts, fiddlers, banjos, flutes, drums, costumes, troop encampments and booths where hoop skirts, military period costumes and the popular toy cap guns were sold (And no, I didn’t buy one for my kids).

We had fun visiting the encampments and learning from the people there – who hardly ever broke character – like the Undertaker or the member of the Zouaves who patiently showed us what a soldier typically carried with him back in the day (shaving kit, toothbrush, sewing kit etc.)

Apparently Civil War reenactments are a world on their own. Civil war reenactors take their history real serious as they learn to dress, eat, cook and even die as people who lived in that era did and by the way, they are all ages and come from different walks of life. We met a family from Hemet, CA that gets in costume, travels to places where these things happen and camp out. We met 10 y.o. Ryan, who proudly told me that he was the only member of his family that did THIS – that is dress up in period costume and participate in a reenactment. He revealed that he wasn’t allowed on the battlefield because of his age but was looking forward to the day he could actually carry a rifle and join the battle (age 16?).

Can’t wait to watch again next year.

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The encampment set-ups usually begin on Friday afternoons. Dressed in authentic costumes of the era, men, women and children participate in the re-enactments, including the gun battles. It is a family-oriented event that children enjoy.

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