UNION CITY, TN- Discovery Park of America is combining two of their biggest history related weekends into one huge exploration of the past April 5, 6 and 7. “We are combining Civil War Days and Military Living History into one big historical weekend,” Education Director, Polly Brasher, said. “This is a perfect learning environment for students of all ages, professional or amateur historians, lifetime learners or anyone who likes a one-of-a-kind experience.”
The encampment begins on Friday and is free with park admission. Friday evening boasts a special event that was a highlight last year. “Guests are encouraged to grab a lantern and let their light shine,” Brasher said. The Lantern Walk allows guests to wind their way through special stations including storytelling, letter-reading, and wash-women among other experiences, and concludes with a special night firing. The Lantern Walk will take place from 7:30 until 9:00 p.m. on Friday night in the Settlement. 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.
“If you are near Union City and hear a loud “BOOM” this weekend, it will probably be a cannon firing at Discovery Park,” Brasher said. “We plan to have artillery demonstrations on-the-hour throughout the day all three days.”
The Civil War historians will set up an encampment on the Great Lawn. 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,” Chris Fisher of the Army of Tennessee (AOT) said. He went on to say that it is a real opportunity for children, students and adults to expand their knowledge of this unique time in America’s history.
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, a debate on Battle Tactics at 2:30 and a Skirmish at 3:30 on the Great Lawn. Sunday morning, there will be a special Field Service at 11:00 a.m.
Military Living History, with live historians representing Revolutionary, WWII, Vietnam, and the Cold Wars, will be going on simultaneously in special places throughout the heritage park. “These special historical events truly complement our Military Gallery, which is one of the most popular galleries in Discovery Center,” Brasher said. “People enjoy seeing how life was during these historical times, and we are providing a glimpse into these military struggles.”
In collaboration with Columbus Belmont State Park, Discovery Park’s Education Department has solicited the help of AOT, 1st Division Southern Reenactors, and the 16th Wisconsin Infantry to create a weekend long opportunity to see how life was for both the Union and Confederate troops during the Civil War. Other groups involved in the Military Living History outside the Civil War include the 30th Infantry Division 120th Regiment. The event is sponsored by Dixie Gun Works of Union City and Union City Coca Cola Bottling Company.
Organizers are thankful for the help of Cindy Lynch from Columbus-Belmont State Park in Columbus, Ky. “Year after year, Cindy has helped us organize all the components to create a weekend full of events,” Brasher 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.
Discovery Park of America is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN. The park is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and is a unique blend of history, science, architecture, art and fun. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About Discovery Park of America
The mission of Discovery Park of America, a premier world-class museum and heritage park located in Union City, Tennessee, is to inspire children and adults see beyond. Included is a 100,000-square-foot museum featuring 10 interactive exhibit galleries with additional space for temporary exhibits from around the world and a 50-acre heritage park. Discovery Park of America is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations including its principal funder, the Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Foundation. For more information, visit DiscoveryParkofAmerica.com or follow DPA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.