PEA RIDGE, Ark.– Today, Arkansas Dept. of Parks and Tourism announced a new festival to celebrate the 145th Anniversary of the Battle of Pea Ridge (http://www.arkansas.com/state-federal-parks/national- federal-parks/pea-ridge.asp). The Civil War Ozark Heritage Festival takes place June 7-10 in northwest Arkansas. It will be an annual event leading up to the 150-year anniversary in 2012 of the Civil War in Arkansas (http://www.arkansas.com/things-to-do/history-heritage/civil_war.asp).
March 7-8, 1862, 10,500 Union soldiers turned back about 16,000 Confederate troops marching through northwestern Arkansas en route to Missouri to capture St. Louis. As a result of the Civil War battle, Missouri remained in Union hands throughout the Civil War and the door was opened to the federal conquest of Arkansas and lower Mississippi River.
The festival begins June 7 with a reception at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers. It includes the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial state kick-off with “Sessie,” a woman symbolizing a living history character in Civil War clothing, arriving in a horse-drawn carriage.
Friday’s genealogy workshop occurs from 9am to 3pm at the convention center with presenters Russell Baker and Glenn and Susan Railsback. “If anyone has ever wondered if they had ancestors involved in the Civil War this is a chance for them to learn how to pursue that and find out for sure,” said Harris. A Twilight Patriotic Serenade by the Bella Vista Community Concert Band occurs at 7pm at the park.
Saturday activities include “Civil War Era Music” by Gum Springs Serenaders and The Camp Followers, 10am to noon. “Webb Civil War and Antique Collection,” collections of C.W. and Ann Webb, are on display from 10am to 4pm. Doug Laman provides “Civil War Soldier’s Cooking Demonstration” from 10am to 2pm. Hosted by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, “Civil War Era Tea at the Elkhorn Tavern” is offered from 2pm to 4pm.
Festival concludes June 10 with a 10am “Civil War Memorial Service.”
All events are free except genealogy workshop, twilight serenade and banquet. For tickets or more information, phone Pea Ridge National Military Park (http://www.arkansas.com/things-to-do/history-heritage/select/region/1/ID/21) at 479-451-8122.
Source: Arkansas Dept. of Parks and Tourism