Weekender

History comes alive for Memorial Day weekend

The Pennsylvania Military Museum will host World War II re-enactments on Saturday and Sunday.
The Pennsylvania Military Museum will host World War II re-enactments on Saturday and Sunday. Photo provided

Memorial Day weekend is a time for both celebration and reflection — remembering those who sacrificed their lives for their country and honoring that sacrifice.

But it can also be a time to learn.

The Pennsylvania Military Museum will hold a World World II bivouac, or encampment, on Saturday and Sunday at its 51 Boal Ave., Boalsburg, location.

The program, which occurs annually, “brings together Axis and Allied re-enactors interpreting field life in the 1944 European theater of operations,” according to a press release from the military museum.

Joe Horvath, museum educator, said the re-enactments began 17 years ago, when Memorial Day weekend in Boalsburg was a smaller affair.

Now, the re-enactments draw anywhere from 150 to 400 people, he said.

The museum commemorates four different periods with uniformed re-enactments, but World War II is always done on Memorial Day weekend, Horvath said.

The history of the United States’ entry into the war begins at 12:45 p.m. on each day, which is immediately followed by a tactical battle demonstration, according to the release.

The battle demonstration lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes, Horvath said, and it’s narrated so that attendees can follow the action.

Horvath said the re-enactments are an opportunity to see the Axis and Allies come alive.

Guests will even be able to see how far they can throw a grenade.

“We want to make learning history fun,” he said.

Horvath said that there have even been cases where children who’ve come to see the re-enactments have been inspired to become re-enactors as adults.

As he put it, what’s more interesting than seeing costumed re-enactors in person?

Hopefully, he said, the events at the military museum on Memorial Day weekend will set children up for a lifetime of learning.

In addition to the re-enactments, a serviceman’s canteen show will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday only.

Events are free for the public, but donations are accepted.

The military museum grounds will also be used to host the Allegheny Mountain Regional AACA Car Show on Monday.

Throughout the weekend, Boalsburg will be hustling and bustling with the history of Memorial Day and plenty of fun activities for the whole family.

Sarah Rafacz: @sarahrafacz; 814-231-4619

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND EVENTS

Friday

▪ 6-10 p.m., Boalsburg Fire Company Carnival

Saturday

▪ 10 a.m.-4 p.m., World War II Revisited: Living History Bivouac, Pa. Military Museum, Boalsburg

▪ 2:30-3:30 p.m., Letters from Home: A Serviceman’s Canteen Show, Pa. Military Museum, Boalsburg

▪ 5 p.m., Boalsburg Fire Company Parade (carnival continues after parade)

Sunday

▪ 10 a.m.-4 p.m., World War II Revisited: Living History Bivouac, Pa. Military Museum, Boalsburg

▪ 12:30 p.m., British High Tea by reservation at the Boal Mansion, Boalsburg

▪ 2-6 p.m., Boalsburg Fire Company Carnival

Monday

▪ 8:30 a.m., Memorial Day 5K race, Blue Spring Park, Boalsburg

▪ 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Allegheny Mountain Region AACA Car Show, Pa. Military Musem, Boalsburg

▪ 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Children’s Carnival, St. John’s United Church of Christ, Boalsburg

▪ 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Day in Town Festival, featuring live music, food and arts and crafts vendors, Boalsburg

▪ 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Boalsburg Garden Club Plant Sale

▪ 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Boal Mansion open, featuring Civil War re-enactors, live music, food, arts and crafts, petting zoo and more

▪ 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Boalsburg Heritage Museum Soup and Bread Sale in township garage, tours and demonstrations at restored Blacksmith Shop

▪ 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Boalsburg Fire Company Carnival

▪ 10:30-11:30 a.m., State College Area High School Jazz Band, the Diamond, Boalsburg

▪ 11:30 a.m.-noon, Andy and Elisha, magicians, the Diamond, Boalsburg

▪ noon-1 p.m., Little German Band, the Diamond, Boalsburg

▪ 12:30 p.m., Maypole dance, Central Pa. Dance Workshop, the Diamond, Boalsburg

▪ 1:30-2:30 p.m., Screaming Ducks, the Diamond, Boalsburg

▪ 2:30-3 p.m., State College Community Theatre, the Diamond, Boalsburg

▪ 3-4 p.m., Pure Cane Sugar, the Diamond, Boalsburg

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