Ahhh...Rebels to Redcoats weekend at Old Sturbridge Village
has become one of our favorite annual events. This year there were over 600 reenactors in period costume participating in formal events and also staying in encampments throughout the village for informal interaction throughout the days. As has been the case for at least three years now, Scott, Jesse, and Leah spent all day Saturday and
all day Sunday there and came home thoroughly jazzed.
Because the reenactors are passionate about history and especially the time period they've chosen to recreate, they are thrilled
to interact with kids and adults who are honestly engaged and inquisitive, and will often become increasingly open and sharing as they realize the extent of interest.
Jesse was, as always, entranced by the historic weaponry. This year he focused on the Gatling gun and became an assistant for the reenactor you see to his right in the picture above, eventually earning the opportunity to clean the gun and help carry the ammunition box. He was greeted like a member of the reenactor group when he returned for the second day. As usual, he fell into his spontaneous docent role in the blacksmith's shop too, with the blessing of the blacksmith himself. :-) Leah found her niche on Saturday when she took her turn at the spinning wheel of someone doing a demo and was recognized by the demo'er as a fellow member of Nutmeg Spinners Guild
They arrived home Saturday afternoon just long enough for us all to head out with my mom to the New England Shakespeare Festival'
s performance of Midsummer Night's Dream. Yes, we just saw one version of Midsummer Night's Dream a couple of weeks ago
, but we've seen about five versions all together now and each one has a completely different flavor from the others. This particular version was rollicking, informal, and often downright hilarious. Like when the whole shebang paused for the "flying machine" to pass, while the Elizabethan players looked quite perplexed by this contraption and the audience joined in on a quick round of singing "I'm leaving on a jet plane. I don't know when I'll be back again." Good raucous Shakespeare for the common folk!
Back to Old Sturbridge Village for day 2 of Rebels to Redcoats today. Met up with friends, as planned, and more friends, unplanned! Above is Jesse enjoying a walk in the company of General Grant, with whom they had a picnic lunch last year.
And here you see Leah (in blue) and her militia friends parading around the common. That's Molly Pitcher behind her, in the bonnet, and crisp militia-woman Emma in red, marching in step with the commanding officers. They came home thoroughly wiped out, treasuring the small mementos gifted to them by reenactors, with many stories to share and the glee that comes from a weekend with family and friends, and boundless enthusiasm for history brought to life.