WILLIAMSBURG, Va., February 23, 2017 — Hundreds of re-enactors depicting armed forces from the fifth century B.C. to modern times will come together on Saturday and Sunday, March 18 and 19 for Jamestown Settlement’s 33rd annual “Military Through the Ages” event.
This popular chronological display of military history, held each year at Jamestown Settlement since 1984, will feature military re-enactors and modern-day units depicting how uniforms, weapons and military tactics evolved through the centuries, as well as aspects of field communication and medical treatment. This family friendly event also showcases a variety of military vehicles and equipment. Visitors are encouraged to interact with re-enactors to learn how soldiers attired and armed themselves, as well as how they were fed and housed in times of war. A highlight of the 2017 event will be the centennial observance of America’s entry into World War I. Weekend highlights include artillery firings, a Saturday children’s parade and a Sunday military pass-in-review. Merchants also will be on hand to sell reproduction wares.
Timeline from the 5th Century B.C. to the Virginia Army National Guard
More than 400 re-enactors will portray soldiers and military encounters from Greek and Roman times, the medieval period, Hundred Years’ War, War of the Roses, American Revolution, War of 1812, Napoleonic Wars, and American Civil War. Re-enactors depicting World Wars I and II, and the Vietnam War will take visitors through the 20th century. The National Museum of the Marine Corps and the Virginia Army National Guard will represent the present.
Artillery, Children’s Parade, Military Pass-in-Review
Comparative artillery-firing demonstrations will be presented at noon Saturday and Sunday, with weapons ranging from a 17th-century swivel gun to a modern-day howitzer. A children’s parade at 1 p.m. Saturday, allows young “troops” to march through the museum’s re-created colonial fort and re-enactor campsites to formally present ribbons to each of the participating military units. A military pass-in-review will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday and will feature recognition of re-enactor units judged on camp sites and field demonstrations, as well as awards for visitor and re-enactor’s choice for the top re-enactment unit.
Musical Performances at Military Through the Ages
Music will be performed throughout the weekend, including the booming sounds of The Federal City Brass Band, re-creating a Union Army regimental brass band from the 1860s; Field Musick Virginia, presenting a mix of American Revolution military music and instrumental history; and the Old Cigar Box String Band, offering string band versions of songs from the American Revolution to the 20th century.
Military Aspects at Jamestown Settlement
Arms, armor and military accouterments of 17th-century Virginia can be seen inside Jamestown Settlement’s extensive galleries, featuring films and interactive exhibits that tell the story of America’s first permanent English colony and of the Powhatan Indian, European and African cultures in 1600s Virginia.
Families can experience hands-on activities, such as trying on reproductions of English helmets and breastplates, in outdoor re-creations of a 1610-14 English fort, a Powhatan Indian village, and on board one of three ships that brought English colonists to Virginia in 1607 – Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery.
The event is funded in part by James City County and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc., Annual Fund.
Jamestown Settlement is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily year-round. 2017 admission is $17.00 for adults and $8.00 for ages 6-12. Children under 6 are free. A value-priced combination ticket with the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, is $23.00 for adults and $12.00 for ages 6-12. Parking is free. Jamestown Settlement is located on State Route 31 near the Colonial Parkway in James City County, just southwest of Williamsburg and adjacent to Historic Jamestowne. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838, or visit https://jyfmuseums.org/jamestown-settlement/military-through-the-ages/.