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“Civil War Days” brings American history to life

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area has celebrated its annual "Civil War Days" at the Colorado River State Historic Park for a decade.

Tammy Snook, Park Manger for the Colorado River State Historic Park, said it takes hundreds of reenactment actors to bring the war between the Union and Confederacy to life.

"And those are especially impressive. Because when you hear the cannon fire, you can get a little better idea of how intense the Civil War battles were."

Attendees enjoyed a faithful theatrical performance, similar to what would have been seen during the Civil War.

"Kind of the very earliest vaudeville if you will. With singing, dancing. Kind of that combination entertainment that the troops would have experienced."

As well as an authentic experience of life during the 1860s.

"A vast majority of the reenactment actors try extremely hard to make sure they're in period dress, period-accurate dress. They have reproduction items that are made in the period style as well. And they really pride themselves on being historically accurate."

According to Snook, Civil War reenactments have recently seen a decline.

"A lot of the reenactor community is aging out of reenactment. So there are fewer reenactments in Arizona and in Southern California. So we get to take advantage of being strategically placed between both those locations."

But it's actors like Robert Broski who embody the spirit of historical figures such as President Abraham Lincoln, that keeps residents coming back each year.

"I think when you stand for what's right, or wanting to do for the right thing people want to listen. They want to hear what is the right thing. What is this character, this integrity that he had."

And reminding us to not forget our past.

"If we lost our history, our past, I think it's like a ship without a sail. You wouldn't know which direction to go in. What's right and wrong. Let's learn from the past. And we know that road didn't work 100 years ago, it's not going to work now. Let's try taking a different approach."

News / Yuma County

Billy Khang

Billy Khang joined KYMA in January of 2018 as a Multimedia Journalist.

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