Living History: June 2004

By Lauren Eisenstodt Premium

Arlington, Texas: High Times

Don your kilt and grab your bagpipe for the 18th annual Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games, June 4-6. There’s a competition for everyone at this family event, including bagpiping contests, a kilted golf tournament, a Scotch ale-brewing competition and a shortbread contest. The festival, which takes place at Maverick Stadium, on the University of Texas at Arlington campus, also features traditional Scottish foods and ales, music and dance performances, reenactments, and genealogy and history seminars. You might even find a distant cousin in one of the 65 Scottish clan tents. Admission costs $10 Friday and Sunday and $15 Saturday. Or buy a weekend pass for $25. Children get in for $5 per day. Call (800) 363-7268 or visit <> for more information.

Alexandria, Va: Setting Up Camp


Experience daily life in a typical Union or Confederate camp June 5 at Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site’s Civil War Camp Day. Costumed military re-enactors will present infantry drills and firing demonstrations, explain the weaponry of a common soldier and discuss treatment of wounds and diseases. Civilian re-enactors, including a 19th-century “schoolmarm,” will present other living history demonstrations. There’s a suggested donation of $2 for adults and $1 for children. For details, call (703) 838-4848 or visit <>.

Prescott, Ariz.: Trade Secrets

Have you ever churned butter, made a cornhusk doll or panned for gold? Well, now’s your chance: June 5-6, Sharlot Hall Museum will host the 31st annual Folk Arts Fair, which celebrates our ancestors’ trades and ways of life. Try your hand at dipping candles, making lace, quilting and rug hooking. Then watch skilled craftsmen make baskets, carve wood and spin wool into yarn. Be sure to check out the military encampments and Prescott Antique Auto Club exhibits, too. To learn more about this event, call (928) 445-3122 or visit <>. Admission is by donation.

Tabor, SD: Czech it Out

For 55 years, Tabor has celebrated its Czech heritage with a summer festival of traditional food, music and dance. June 18-19, you can join in the fun at the 56th annual Czech Days. Friday, watch the parade, a kolace-baking demonstration and concerts in Sokol Park. Saturday, don’t miss the craft fair, Polka Mass at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, toe-tapping entertainment in the park and the crowning of the Czech Days royalty. Call (605) 463-2476 or visit <> for details.

Virginia: Out in a Boat

In the 1700s, our Virginia ancestors relied on the James River to transport tobacco and other goods to Richmond. They carried the goods in flat-bottomed white oak boats, which were 6 to 8 feet wide and 40 to 50 feet long. June 19-26, you can relive 18th-century river trade at the James River Batteau Festival, a division of the Virginia Canals and Navigations Society. A fleet of boats will depart from Percival’s Island June 19, beginning a weeklong journey to Richmond. They’ll make several stops along the way, setting up camp at festival sites with period re-enactors, music, food, craft demonstrations and kids’ activities. To learn more about this event or to find out how you can get involved, visit <>.

Missouri and Kansas: A Bicentennial Blast

July 4, 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark held the first Independence Day observance west of the Mississippi River. Their “fireworks” were two blasts from the keelboat’s cannon — one in the morning and one in the evening — and an extra ration of whiskey near present-day Atchison, Kan. This July Fourth weekend, you can celebrate America’s independence and the Lewis and Clark bicentennial with Heart of America: A journey Fourth in Atchison, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo. The event kicks off Saturday morning with a ceremony at Berkley Riverfront Park in Kansas City, featuring keynote speakers first lady Laura Bush and Gen. Richard Myers, plus the 135th Army Band, American Heart-land Men’s Chorus. US Army 1802 Color Guard, Native American Hag Processional and a 19-gun salute. Other weekend activities include parades, festivals, re-enactments, laser light shows and bicentennial exhibits. The event culminates in a July 4 “Toast to the Nation,” followed by music and fireworks. For details, call (800) 858-1749 or visit <>.

From the June 2004 Family Tree Magazine