War of 1812 reenactment returns

·2 min read

MORRISBURG – After a four year absence, the Friends of the Crysler Farm Battlefield will hold a War of 1812 reenactment weekend July 16-17.

Normally held every two years, the reenactors missed 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the group is working on the 2022 edition.

Group spokesperson Dave Conners told The Leader that there will be a battle held each day of the weekend but the group is also looking to expand the experience for the audience.

“What we’re trying to make it a bit more inclusive so it’s not just ‘the battle’,” he explained. “We’re having guided stations where people will be taken through different displays.”

Conners said the displays will show different aspects of life 210 years ago with a focus on the food, clothing and everyday living of people in the military.

While reenactors attend from as far away as Windsor and the United States, Conners said he is expecting a lower participation rate than before the pandemic.

“The gas prices and concerns about COVID are a factor,” he said.

Conners expects about 200-250 participants to take part in the weekend, plus spectators. Pre-pandemic that number would be over 350 people.

The group has a different fundraiser to support the reenactment than in past years. Normally a heritage quilt from nearby Upper Canada Village is raffled off – instead local historian John Carrothers has donated a vintage firearm for the raffle this year. FCFB has 1,000 tickets for the raffle, which will sell for $5 each, or 3/$10.

In the off years between the every-other-year event, Conners said the group wants to go back into local schools to educate students about the importance of the War of 1812 and of the Battle of Crysler’s Farm.

I think it is a significant historical event that happened right here,” he emphasized. “Some may go on that this is glorifying battles but the fact of history is that a lot of changes happen because of big battles and this one was significant.”

Conners said the Battle of Crysler’s Farm was a turning point for the Canadians and British in the War of 1812.

“What would have happened if the Americans had won that battle and then captured Montreal? It could have been an entirely different course of history for the country.”

The local connection is also important Conners explained.

“We like to do it because it is right here,” he said of the battlefield, located next to Upper Canada Village.

Registration for reenactors is available at the FCFB website at www.cryslersfarm.com.

Spectators can attend the “Battle that saved Canada” on either day.

Single admission is $7, families (two adults plus up to four children under 18) are $30, and children six and under are free.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader

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