The annual Heritage Days Festival saw about 185 registered campsites at Lake Storey as hundreds dressed in period garb.
The park was split into two sections for the event, a Civil War section, and a “rendezvous” section – which covers revolutionary times up to the Civil War.
“It amazes me that in one day, you can walk from the 1700’s clear up to the 1860’s and then when you get back in the car, you’re back in the 2000’s again,” says Heritage Days Vice President Dave Burnheart.
Apart from the re-enactors, dozens of vendors were also in attendance to sell their merchandise. Organizers say Heritage Days gathers ideas from other festivals like it around the region.
Largely because of word-of-mouth, Heritage Days has been setting a new attendance record for itself each year of operation with this year being no exception.
“Doing this, you can actually learn your history,” says Burnheart. “You can put your hands on it, you can smell it, you can feel it. You can sit in a classroom and read books over and over and you’ll never get it in your head until you smell the campfire, hear the blacksmith pounding, this is all the stuff that made America what it is today.”
A Civil War re-enactment was part of Saturday’s festivities as cannons and rifles were fired. Games and activities for the kids were also included.
Heritage Days continues through Sunday in Galesburg.