Weekender

Memorial Day weekend events spotlight the past

The ladies of Boalsburg Battery B carry flowers and a wreath as part of the Walk to the Cemetery to start the 2016 Memorial Day ceremony in Boalsburg.
The ladies of Boalsburg Battery B carry flowers and a wreath as part of the Walk to the Cemetery to start the 2016 Memorial Day ceremony in Boalsburg. Centre Daily Times, file

The past is in the forefront of every Memorial Day, but in Centre County there’s a number of chances to visit the past with living history experiences.

At the Pennsylvania Military Museum, Axis and Allied living historians will encamp on the grounds on Saturday and Sunday during a World War II Living History Bivouac. The historians will portray field life in the European Theater of Operations, 1944-45.

On Sunday, the Boal Mansion Museum goes further back in time with a Civil War Ball. The Victorian Dance Ensemble of Harrisburg will teach guests 19th-century moves, and a guided tour, sweets and refreshments are also part of the $38 ticket price. Costumes are optional but encouraged, and for those without hoop skirts and bib shirts in their closets, costumes will be available to rent on site.

Bob Cameron, director of the Columbus Chapel and Boal Mansion Museum, said this is the first year the museum has incorporated such an event into its slate of Memorial Day weekend activities. Memorial Day at the Mansion on Monday will feature Civil War re-enactors, live music, food, arts and crafts vendors and tours of the Columbus Chapel.

“Our thought was that we had this little void on Sunday,” Cameron said.

Civil War re-enactors who are participating in Memorial Day at the Mansion on Monday are granted free admission to the ball, and Cameron said providing entertainment and a little something extra for those re-enactors and their families is part of the goal.

“We’re hoping this will entice other groups to come next year and keep making it larger,” Cameron said.

Reservations to the ball are suggested and can be made by calling 876-0129.

The Old Mud Church in Philipsburg will also see Civil War re-enactors on Sunday during a memorial service with military honors for veterans.

“We’re really excited to participate in these events,” Philipsburg Mayor John Streno, who will be in Civil War uniform as one of the 148th re-enactors, said in a press release. “It’s been a long time since such ceremonies have been held at the Mud Church, and we hope to make sure that we can resume honoring the veterans at Philipsburg’s most sacred spot for many years to come.”

Jessica McAllister: 814-231-4617, @JMcAllisterCDT

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