ShareThis Page

Pioneer Days mixes history, fun

| Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, 9:39 p.m.
Getting ready for the big weekend in Perryopolis Borough are Pioneer Days committee members (from left) Shirley Baldwin, Larry Fisher and Jean White.
Marilyn Forbes | for the Daily Courier
Getting ready for the big weekend in Perryopolis Borough are Pioneer Days committee members (from left) Shirley Baldwin, Larry Fisher and Jean White.

Civil War enthusiasts from the area will not have to travel to the backwoods of Virginia to experience the Battle of Cold Harbor. It will be re-enacted this weekend in the Fay-West region as part of the annual Perryopolis Pioneer Days.

For many years, the re-enactments have been a vital part of the festival, helping to draw hundreds to the three-day event that is held in and around Sampey Park and Washington Grist Mill in the borough.

“They are bigger and bigger every year,” Pioneer Days committee chairwoman Shirley Baldwin said of the re-enactments. “People come from everywhere to see them.”

The re-enactments will feature re-enactors from all over the area, who will spend Saturday and Sunday engaged in “battle” and also demonstrating living history for the visitors. On Friday, the festival will kick off with gates opening at Sampey Park at 5 p.m. and a dance at the Sons of Italy from 7 to 11 p.m.

“We have about 400 who will take part in the battle this year,” said Harry Fisher, master sergeant with the 105th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Company E re-enactors.

Fisher said the group in charge of the “battle” takes pains to keep it as accurate as possible.

“They really do their homework,” Fisher said. “They take their time to learn the battles.”

The battle re-enactments will be presented at Sampey Park east, a special camp area where visitors will be able to experience Civil War life up close.

For those who want activities, entertainment and food, they will not go away disappointed. Pioneer Days features plenty of things to do, see and eat.

“This year we are having a car show, which will be really nice if the weather cooperates,” Baldwin said.

The famously restored Grist Mill will be open for tours and will feature a quilt show. Visitors can vote for their favorite quilts and will also have the opportunity to win a quilt that will be offered for raffle.

There will be musical entertainment throughout the weekend and many children's activities planned. Visitors who enjoy a country setting and the chance to experience a taste of history are welcome.

“Our re-enactors come from all over the area,” Fisher said. “They come from all over the state, West Virginia and New York. They pretty much come far and wide.”

The event will take place, rain or shine, but the group is hoping for sunny skies, something that they haven't been blessed with for several years.

“Last year was awful,” Baldwin said. “It rained and rained and it rained the year before. We need a good, dry, sunny weekend and then we'll really see the big crowds again.”

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.