American Heritage Festival Celebrates Local Revolutionary War Legacy
The rolling boom of cannon fire and crack of musket balls will return Feb. 2-3 to Graham’s Historic Farm near Lake City with the 4th Annual American Heritage Festival celebrating the area’s connection to the Revolutionary War.
Live battlefield reenactments, cannon demonstrations, colonial merchants and historical speakers are just the tip of the bonnet for this event (sorry 😊).
The schedule for the reenactments and all events over the two days may be found here.
The 18th Century Colonial Village is a beehive of activity with a town crier, colonial traders (merchants), woodworkers, a blacksmith and a musket maker entertaining the crowd. At night the crowd can join a drum circle (it’s bring your own drum!) for some rhythmic fun.
Part of the entertainment at the village will be the “Patriot Games,” which includes hatchet and tomahawk throwing contests, an apple pendulum bayonet charge, colonial cricket and a skillet toss contest.
Also, a torch-walk and Night of Lights display will light up the sky and the fields Saturday night after sundown, followed by a bonfire (we assume the Uncle Sam stilt walker will not stray too close to the fire!).
The aptly named “party tent” will include food, drink, dancing and face painting, but also the music of the Steel City Rovers both days (check them out on Youtube here for a sampling). The band says they play a blend of Celtic, bluegrass, folk & roots music.
Historians will also help bring The Revolutionary War to life. Scheduled to address the crowd on Sunday are:
- Charles Baxley, a Southern Campaign military expert on Battle of Eutaw Springs, who will also discuss the Swamp Fox Francis Marion and other Revolutionary War facts related to the Pee Dee Region. The Swamp Fox launched attacks from Graham’s Historic Farm, kept British prisoners there, and hid from the British’s Lord Tarleton.
- David Reuwer, a municipal judge from Kershaw County and part of the S.C. Battlefield Preservation Trust, will discuss Camden battlefields, Thomas Sumter and South Carolina’s Patriot Trails.
The family-friendly event brings the Revolutionary War back to life in a field huge enough for entire battles to be recreated for onlookers. Weapons and tactics used during the actual period will be used during the dramatic reenactments.
Of course you can’t fight battles without armies, so there will be numerous regiments camped onsite for the festival, including the sponsoring 2nd South Carolina Regiment. Attending regiments were scheduled to include: the 2nd South Carolina Continentals, 2nd North Carolina Regiment, British Legion, 33rd Regiment of Foot – British, 3rd Continental Light Dragoons (a cavalry with horses!), Kingsbury Artillery, the Royal 64th Regiment of Foot, the British Legion, the Rep of Washington’s Regiment of NC Militia and the Rep of Delaware’s Light Infantry.
Deviating from the Revolutionary War, there will also be an area dedicated to military vehicles from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Also, for those interested, the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, a congressionally chartered organization founded in 1889, will be there to recruit members for a new Florence County Chapter.
Speaking of bringing history alive at Graham’s Historic Farm, to some extent it was never dead. This WMBF News story recently discussed the history of the farm and some items only recently discovered on the property.
To check out more details on the American Heritage Festival see their Facebook page and/or website. For specific info on how to find the farm, click here. Tickets may be pre-purchased from the website.