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updated: 1/30/2013 3:45 PM

Immerse yourself in antiquity at Military History Fest

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  • From left, re-enactors John Sauter of Paddock Lake, Wi., Al Potyen of Glen Ellyn and Bill Hess of Janesville, Wi., chat at a Valley Forge scene at last year's Military History Fest at Pheasant Run, St. Charles.

       From left, re-enactors John Sauter of Paddock Lake, Wi., Al Potyen of Glen Ellyn and Bill Hess of Janesville, Wi., chat at a Valley Forge scene at last year's Military History Fest at Pheasant Run, St. Charles.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer, 2012

  • Timothy Lyon of Sycamore teaches Bob Davis of Easton, Pa., tips on Italian rapier sword fighting at last year's Military History Fest at Pheasant Run in St. Charles.

       Timothy Lyon of Sycamore teaches Bob Davis of Easton, Pa., tips on Italian rapier sword fighting at last year's Military History Fest at Pheasant Run in St. Charles.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer, 2012

  • Dan Peterson of Fort Campbell, Ky., wears Roman-style military gear, all of which he made himself, at last year's Military History Fest in St. Charles. Peterson wrote a book about the Roman military 20 years ago titled "The Roman Legions." He has been re-enacting this time period for 30 years. He is also the director of the Pratt Museum in Fort Campbell.

       Dan Peterson of Fort Campbell, Ky., wears Roman-style military gear, all of which he made himself, at last year's Military History Fest in St. Charles. Peterson wrote a book about the Roman military 20 years ago titled "The Roman Legions." He has been re-enacting this time period for 30 years. He is also the director of the Pratt Museum in Fort Campbell.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer, 2012

 
Daily Herald staff reports

The Military History Fest in St. Charles this weekend is about more than just war and weaponry. It's likely to appeal to anyone with an interest in history.

The festival is set for Friday, Feb. 1 to Sunday, Feb. 3 at the Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St. Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

This family-friendly event features hundreds of vendor tables, live demonstrations of historical military and cultural activities every day, musical performances, interesting seminars and lectures on a variety of topics, and a Re-enactor's Ball.

For the first time, there will be an indoor Military Vehicle Rally/Heavy Weapons display. There will be full indoor encampments, hundreds of costumed re-enactors, hundreds of tables of original and reproduction military items, books, movies, music and more.

On Friday, veterans are admitted free as a thank you for their service. Kids 15 and younger are admitted free each day. Admission is $20 per day or $30 for all three days. Tickets to the ball are $10 each. For details, visit www.militaryhistoryfest.com.

This indoor convention features military history buffs, re-enactors, collectors and cultural historians from all time periods, from the Roman Empire through the modern day.

On Friday, the programs will include "The Commodity Culture in Victorian Times" from 3 to 3:45 p.m. and "Beyond The Dress: A Lady's Guide to Social Media" from 4 to 4:45 p.m.

On Saturday, historical dance classes will be offered in the New Orleans Ballroom, including Elizabethan court dancing at 9 a.m., English country/folk at 10 a.m., swing dancing at 11 a.m., Renaissance dancing at noon, Civil War dancing at 1 p.m. and Colonial dancing at 2 p.m.

Also on Saturday, seminars will be: "Can You Buy Reenacting Items at the Mall? YES!" and "How to fight with the Medieval Dagger" from 10 to 10:45 a.m.; "Historic Homebrewing" and "Women in Reenacting Roundtable Discussion" from 11 to 11:45 a.m.; "Join the Resistance!" and "Collecting Time Periods" from noon to 12:45 p.m.; "General of the Armies -- John J. Pershing" and a question-and-answer session with Craig Gottlieb, an expert on military artifacts who has been featured on "Pawn Stars" from 1 to 1:45 p.m.; "Healing Through the Ages" and "Traditional Hand Embroidery" from 2 to 2:45 p.m.; "Buying a Military Vehicle: Points to Consider" and "Medieval Culture and Thought" from 3 to 3:45 p.m. There will be a special presentation, "The USO in World War II" from 1 to 4 p.m., and the Historical Clothing Expo from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

On Sunday, the schedule will include "Religion and Reenacting" and "Vietnam: Meet the Men of Charlie Co. 3/21 Infantry" from 11-11:45 a.m., and "USMC Gear (1908, 1952, and 1991)" from noon to 12:45 p.m.

The live performance stage is at the back of the Mega Center, between the military vehicles and the refreshments.

Performers include:

• Thee Bluebeard, whose kid-friendly comedy show is done in an interview-style format which lends itself very well to getting people in the audience (grown-ups too) involved in the fun. Visit www.theeBluebeard.com.

• Tourdion, a musical duo performing an eclectic selection of traditional songs from the British Isles and France, from Celtic favorites and Child ballads to rolling sea and soldier songs. Visit www.tourdion.net.

• The Guild of St. Michael features The Trayn'd Bandes of the Bristol Renaissance Fair who are not merely costumed entertainers but historians and educators, dedicated to learning about and recreating the culture, life and combat skills of 16th-century England. Visit www.gsmbristol.org.

• Saint Martins Academy is a collection of scholars and presenters who research Medieval and Renaissance culture, educational systems and martial arts in order to present their findings to academic, martial arts, historical re-enactment and civic organizations through engaging lectures, seminars, hands-on workshops, individual classes and demonstrations. Visit www.stmartinsacademy.com.

• Battlefield Balladeers performs the songs and music of the American Civil War. The repertoire consists of the patriotic, sentimental, and comic songs of the period along with minstrel favorites and the melodies of Stephen Foster. Unamplified acoustic instruments performed by a variety of personnel in museum quality uniforms bring to life the sounds of the Blue and Gray for all ages. Visit battlefieldballadeers.weebly.com.

• 3 Pints Gone plays Celtic traditional-style folk songs and sea shanties. Their distinctive sound is full of high energy and harmony-rich arrangements. They entertain by telling stories through the songs that leave the audience feeling like old friends. Visit www.3pintsgone.com.

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