Naper Settlement has Civil War Days fest
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media May 17, 2012 11:48AM
Civil War Days is May 19 and 20 at Naper Settlement. | File Photo
Civil War Days
♦ May 19-20
♦ Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville
♦ (630) 420-6010
Updated: May 17, 2012 11:48AM
Civil War Days returns to the Naper Settlement this spring.
For more than 30 years, re-enactors from throughout the Midwest have participated in Civil War Days at Naper Settlement in Naperville. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 19 and 20 with a battle reenactment at 2:30 p.m. each day.
Attendees also will have an opportunity to see a reenactment of a Civil War-era wedding on Saturday afternoon when Norm and Gina Camp, who were married during Civil War Days at Naper Settlement 10 years ago, will be renewing their vows in their Confederate costumes.
The re-enactors camp at Naper Settlement over the weekend and portray what life was like during the Civil War, said special events coordinator Lauren Visher.
Besides the popular battles, there will be several other performers on hand who portray significant people during that time frame, she said.
“We have Abraham Lincoln and Mrs. Lincoln giving the Emancipation Proclamation and holding a press conference,” she said. “We also have the generals — Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Sherman and Custer — they will be walking around the grounds doing some presentations. We also have a Civil-War period school teach and a Civil War-period spy that actually was a Southern belle but she spied for the Union.”
Nurses Clara Barton and Mary Bickerdyke will also be out to do presentations.
“At any given moment of the event, there are four or five different things to do and see, which is very exciting,” she said. “There’s plenty for the kids to do as well. We have autograph sheets for the kids, they can walk around getting all the historical figures autographs and hear a little bit about what went on in the Civil War.”
Kids will also enjoy an old-time Medicine Show.
“They’re sort of like magic acts. They traveled throughout the country giving different performances,” she said. “We also have Miller’s Petting Zoo here on the grounds.”
Food vendors will supply traditional hot dogs and shaved ice, as well as unique foods like old-fashioned kettle corn.
“It is the best kettle corn you will ever have,” she said. “They also make old-fashioned root beer. They fill it in brown glass bottles.”
Civil War-period musicians scattered throughout the grounds will play music, and there will even be a cooking demonstration.
Civil War Days at Naper Settlement was in the first Civil War re-enactment in the Naperville area and is still popular, she said.
“If you were to ask a re-enactor, they are very passionate about this time period, about this war, and are very patriotic. There’s a whole community around this re-enactment. It’s a tradition in Naperville.”
They expect about 4,000 visitors over the weekend.
People should expect to have fun and learn something they may not have known, she said.
“It’s a great family event. It’s great for all ages,” she said. “There’s something for everyone and it’s bound to be fun and a great day with your family.”