Grab a lantern and let your light shine, as you tour through special stations including storytelling, letter reading, night firing and wash-women at this year’s Civil War Days  at Discovery Park of America. The special “Lantern Tour” is taking place from 7:30 until 9:00 p.m. on Friday night, and will conclude with a spectacular night firing.  While all the other Civil War Day activities are free with park admission, the Lantern Tour requires a $10 ticket and is limited to the first 100 people who sign up.

If you enjoy history, plan a visit to Discovery Park of America in Union City as the park hosts “Civil War Days” Living History Encampment April 20 – 22 on the Great Lawn.  “If you are near Union City and hear a loud “BOOM” this weekend, it will probably be a cannon firing at Discovery Park,” organizer Andrew Gibson said.  “We plan to have artillery demonstrations throughout the day.”  According to Artillery Commander Chris Fisher with the AOT, the artillery demonstrations are extremely popular.

Visiting the Civil War Encampment this weekend is free with park admission.  Guests will be able to stroll through the tents and talk with the historians about the Civil War and its history.  “The people who participate in these Living History events have great knowledge about the Civil War and its battles,” Steven Henderson of the KOB said.  He went onto say that it is a real opportunity for children, students and adults to expand their knowledge of this unique time in America’s history.

Pictured is Discovery Park of America’s CEO, Jim Rippy, gearing up to fire the Cannon during a previous Civil War Days Encampment at Discovery Park of America.

Additionally, Dixie Gun Works and The Meadows Hotel, sponsors of the weekend, will have special tents that will be a treat to stop by and visit.

In addition to living historians dressed in authentic Union and Confederate clothing, artillery demonstrations every hour and the Lantern tour on Friday evening; you can enjoy a special Ladies’ Tea at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday that is free to the public with park admission. There will also be a special Sunday morning “Field Service” at 11:00 a.m.

CEO Jim Rippy said that Civil War Days represents a desire by the park to offer unique educational events and opportunities to the public.  According to Rippy, in addition to Civil War Days this weekend, there will be a Military Living History encampment on Memorial Weekend sponsored by Union City Coca-Cola, Leader’s Credit Union and Reelfoot Bank.  The Military Living History will showcase WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars.   “These special historical events really complement our Military Gallery, which is one of the most popular galleries in Discovery Center,” Rippy said.  “People really enjoy seeing how life was during these historical times, and we are trying to bring the Civil War era to life for them this coming weekend,” he added.

In collaboration with Columbus Belmont State Park, Discovery Park’s Education Department has solicited the help of the Kentucky Orphan Brigade (KOB) and The Army of Tennessee (AOT) to create a weekend long opportunity to see how life was for both the Union and Confederate troops during the Civil War.  The event is sponsored by Dixie Gun Works of Union City and The Meadows Hotel of Fulton, KY.

Organizers are thankful for the help of Cindy Lynch from Columbus-Belmont State Park in Columbus, Ky.  “Cindy has really helped us pull all the components for a great weekend together,” Gibson said.  Columbus-Belmont State Park has an annual Civil War event in October.  Plans are already made for this year’s event at Columbus-Belmont in October including battles both Saturday and Sunday, as well as many other Civil War events and activities.