Walk through history at encampment

The West Michigan Living History and Educational Association would like to invite the public to the 26th Annual Grand Rogue Living History Encampment on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15-16. Every year on the second weekend after Labor Day, visitors can view first hand what life in early America was like at the annual Grand Rogue Living History Encampment. This is a timeline event featuring military and civilian living historians demonstrating our country’s history from colonial times to the present. The event is supported by generous local citizens and businesses, and is open to the public at no charge.

At the Encampment, historical re-enactors will be wearing authentic period clothing and living in period shelters. Traditional artisans will demonstrate their historic skills, including blacksmithing and woodworking throughout the weekend. Activities will also include musket and cannon firing and multi-period military tactical demonstrations.

The average participant has invested upwards of $1,000 in authentic clothing and equipment, and countless hours of research to perfect their historic portrayals. Many of them have participated as consultants and extras in historical films and documentaries, including “The Last of the Mohicans” and the award-winning History Channel series “Frontier: Legends of the Old Northwest.”

On Friday, prior to the main event, about 400 children—fourth-grade level, from several schools—will be arriving for an all-day event (invitation only) to participate in a historical educational program. Eight stations are set up, such as Jacques LeBlanc, period surveyors, music and storytelling, blacksmiths, colonial woodworkers, French and British soldiers, French voyageurs and an Indian camp. The day’s activities will be culminated by the firing of an authentic six-pound British field gun.

The Encampment is held at the Grand Rogue Campground, 6400 West River Road, Comstock Park. Hours for the public are Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, you may visit the website at www.grandrogueencampment.com. Handicapped parking is available.

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