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posted: 7/5/2013 3:54 PM

Annual Civil War Days at Lakewood Forest Preserve kicks off July 13

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Hear the crack of gunfire and the boom of cannons at the Lake County Forest Preserve District's 22nd annual Civil War Days at Lakewood Forest Preserve in Wauconda, Saturday, July 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, July 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event is the largest Civil War re-enactment in northern Illinois, drawing over 600 re-enactors from seven states and 5,000 visitors from Illinois and surrounding areas. It features infantry, cavalry and artillery re-enactors, as well as musicians, sutlers, historical figures and civilians.

Visitors of all ages are invited to explore the military and civilian camps to learn about life in the 1860s.

In the civilian camps and Civil War shops, visitors can meet blacksmiths, quilters, tin smiths and other historical figures from the era.

In the military camps, re-enactors bring to life activities such as payday, weapon checks, mail call and drills. The event culminates each day with a narrated battle re-enactment, Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. These one-hour battles feature artillery, cavalry and infantry re-enactors.

While exploring the grounds, visitors can also meet historical figures including Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and generals Lee, Jackson, Custer, Grant and Sherman. Kids can enjoy period crafts, games, magic shows and a scavenger hunt.

Visitors can also experience a recreation of the 1863 Agricultural Fair, which features public amusements and horticultural and domestic arts exhibitions. A large Civil War-era shopping area and period music and entertainment are also featured. Visitors can bring a picnic lunch or purchase food at the event.

Lakewood Forest Preserve and the Lake County Discovery Museum are on Route 176 just west of Fairfield Road in Wauconda.

Tickets include parking and free admission to the museum. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for youth ages 4 to 17. Children 3 and under are free. Download and bring discount admission coupons, or purchase advance tickets online and the coupon will be automatically applied.

With the exception of service animals, dogs are not allowed at the event.

For more information about the Civil War Days event, visit call (847) 968-3400.