📷 Shaun Moriarty photo: A reenactor fires his musket soon before the British retreated and surrendered in a battle on Freeman Farm at Old Sturbridge Village on Sunday.
Region’s largest military reenactment held this weekend
By Shaun Moriarty
Citizen Chronicle Writer
STURBRIDGE — Thousands of people this weekend turned back the clock nearly 250 years to immerse themselves in the American Revolution.
Old Sturbridge Village hosted its 15th annual “Redcoats and Rebels” event on Saturday and Sunday, allowing visitors to take a glimpse at life in New England back in 1776 as colonists rebelled against the Crown. Old Sturbridge Village claims “Redcoats and Rebels” is the largest military re-enactment of any kind in New England. Roughly 1,000 historic military reenactors took on a variety of roles, portraying militiamen and members of the Continental Army squaring off against the British Regulars, clad in their red coats. There were reenactors portraying fighting forces comprised of French troops, Native Americans, Scots, and more. All reenactors immerse themselves fully, setting up camp throughout the Old Sturbridge Village grounds and staying there overnight.
The program of events at Old Sturbridge Village included mock battles and skirmishes, tours of the British and American camps, “School of Soldier” training demonstrations, cannon demonstrations, musket drilling with children, martial music, the opportunity to help with camp laundry, learning scouting techniques during “Reconnoiter with a Ranger,” drilling and inspection of the troops, visits to a battlefield hospital where visitors can see smallpox inoculations and treatment of the wounded after battles, 18th century baseball, and more. On Saturday, visitors were provided with the opportunity to stay for “extended hours,” in which they could visit twilight encampments until 8 p.m. Old Sturbridge Village typically closes to guests at 5 p.m.