Soldiers armed with ammunition ranging from pistols to machine guns prepare to head to the Richland County Fairgrounds to celebrate our nation's 45th anniversary.
Ohio Civil War theater commander Wayne Williams explained that his orders to march were to attract family attention over the weekend of May 6 and 7.
"It's a fun family event," said Williams. "The ideal program for teaching history to your children."
The parade features cannon parades, souvenir dealers, and reenactment actors covering conflicts from the Revolutionary War to World War II.
Doors will open May 6 from 9am-5pm and May 7 from 9am-3pm.
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"The Most Attended Civil War Fair in the Nation"
Williams' father Don first hosted the event in 2011. The event doubles in size every few years.
"We had a lot of people wanting to rent a table and he decided to come to the fair and move to the Richland County Fairs so we could expand," said Wayne Williams. "We've been on the show for 30 years."
She was on the show with her twin sister, Teresa Drochel, along with her older brother, Greg Williams.
Had the 2020 event not been canceled due to COVID-19, this year would have been the scene of the 46th Civil War.
Although a year has passed, the event has not missed a moment and continues to grow.
"I've heard rumors that we may have had more Civil War scenes in the country," said Williams. "We had 4,000 to 5,000 people through the doors in two days, that's probably twice the number of any other show I've been on."
The exhibition has grown to include re-enactments, memorabilia, and snapshots taken between 1775 and 1945.
We have eight Civil War revolvers.
The program will be available to the public on both days of the event.
The most popular activity over the years is the Civil War artillery show, which takes place four times: on May 6 at 11:30 and 14:00, and then at 23:30 and 13:30 on May 7.
“Eight Civil War-style rifles are listed in the line of fire this year,” Williams said. "It's something of a crowd pleaser to see the cannonball go off."
Artillery fire exhibits include Army infantry displays detailing Revolutionary and Civil War tactics.
More war-related weapons will be unleashed over the weekend in different battles and conflicts.
"There are several weapons coming," Williams said.
This unique World War II re-enactment will see a US infantry unit clash with a German special forces unit on May 6 at 4:30 p.m.
Medical evacuation will take place at 10:30 and 15:00 on May 6, followed by 10:30 and 13:00 on May 7.
On both days the Corps of Flutes and Drums and the regimental bands will play. The Gettysburg address comes at noon every day. The religious ceremony will take place on May 7 at 10:00.
"It's hard to see everything in one day."
750 450-vendor tables filled with military memorabilia from 1775 to 1945 will be sold, circulated and displayed across seven buildings. It has been described as the largest show of its kind in the country.
In addition to guns, swords, and other weapons, items on display to the public and collectors include books, photographs, stationery, and clothing.
"It's hard to see everything in one day," Williams said. Engage outside and inside.
The on-site coffee shop will be open on weekends and four food trucks will be parked outside.
“The food supply is plentiful,” Williams said.
Admission is $7, kids under 11 get in free. Free parking.
For more information, visit the show online at ohiocivilwarshow.com.
This article originally appeared in Mansfield News-Journal: Civil War Educate and Entertain on May 6-7.