Perryville Hosts 3-Day Battlefield 160th Anniversary Celebration
Posted at 8:23 a.m. on Friday, October 7, 2022
Perryville welcomes thousands of people this weekend for a three-day celebration of the 160th anniversary of Perryville Battlefield.
A celebration, the Perryville Commemoration, will be held in downtown Perryville on Friday and Saturday, October 7 and 8. The other, the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Perryville, will take place on Saturday and Sunday October 8 and 9 at the Perryville Battlefield.
Friday begins downtown with an apron gathering workshop at 10 a.m. with museums and gift shops open, and food trucks opening at noon. There will be craft and art vendors, music, a primitive camp on the Chaplin River, drink and herb workshops and a free concert on the lawn at Magnolia Manor.
The big downtown event on Saturday is the 11 a.m. Parade on Main Street. Parts of Highways 68 and 150 will be temporarily closed at this time. Those heading to the battlefield at this time should plan accordingly, said Main Street Perryville manager Aly Huff.
Saturday will also feature the Miss Perryville pageant at noon at Magnolia Manor; and the Jessamine County Heel Tappers Clogging group at 1 p.m. on Third Street.
The day is filled with other activities from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., including an animal exhibit, farmers’ market, living history presentations, a magician, a traveling museum, a puppeteer, and a classic agricultural fair where people can enter their most prized possessions. Categories range from quilts, jams, pies, and more.
There will be a children’s corner, over 60 vendors and live music. Most downtown events are free, and the Kids’ Corner is $10 for a day pass. To see the full schedule of downtown events, scan the QR code or visit the Main Street Perryville Facebook page.
Perryville Battlefield also has a packed schedule of events on Saturdays. The site opens at 8 a.m. with events starting at 10 a.m. Events include Soldier’s School, which walks people through aspects of a soldier’s life; the African-American experience during the presentation of the Civil War; a performance about an abolitionist; a presentation of Abraham Lincoln, and other events.
Battle re-enactments will take place Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Saturday’s battle shows Confederate General Maney’s attack on the Union left; and Sunday shows the Confederate left versus the Union right in Loomis Heights.
Perryville Battlefield Park Superintendent Bryan Bush said more than 1,000 re-enactors have signed up.
The Battle of Perryville was Kentucky’s largest state battle. During five hours of combat, there were more than 7,900 casualties.
Although there have been annual celebrations in recent years, Battlefield Park has not had a major re-enactment since 2016. Due to Covid-19, there have been no re-enactments over the past few years. last two years.
“Since we have great weather, I expect large crowds and since there hasn’t been a major reenactment since 2016,” Bush said.
To celebrate the special anniversary year, the Battlefield Museum will feature new exhibits and artifacts on loan from local historical societies.
“The Filson Historical Society loaned to the battlefield the presentation sword which belonged to Union Colonel Lawrence Rousseau, commander of the 12th Kentucky Infantry, who was present at the Battle of Perryville but was not engaged,” said Bush said. “The Kentucky Historical Society loaned the museum the display sword that once belonged to Union Col. Frank Wolford, commander of the 1st Kentucky Cavalry, who was also present at the Battle of Perryville.”
There is also a new exhibit on the 21st Wisconsin Infantry in the Cornfield at the Battle of Perryville.
Bush said Friends of the Perryville Battlefield helped clean up and stabilize Washington’s artillery uniform. The uniform and interpretation panels will be displayed.
Sunday events include a vintage church service and memorial services at Confederate and Union monuments. For the full Battlefield event schedule, visit perryvillebattlefield.org.
Battlefield tickets range from $15 to $20. The battlefield closes at 5 p.m. on both days.