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4th of July Living History Weekend in Aurora

The 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band, first organized 1861.

The 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band, first organized 1861.

This holiday weekend, time travel with the Aurora Historical Society at “The Civil War in Aurora”, a two-day living history event on the grounds of the Tanner House Museum in Aurora, July 2-3, 2011. Beginning at 11am both days visitors can meet and mingle with reenactors and interpreters who will demonstrate daily life in the 1860s, and musicians and storytellers who will take the stage to present authentic music of the era and read from letters and local research illustrating the impact of the war on the home front and on the 19th century citizens of Aurora.
The nationally-renowned 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band from Bloomington, Illinois, will perform on antique instruments and share their knowledge of period music. The band was first formed in 1861. Donna Benkert and friends from the Warrenville Folk Center will present music for voice and stringed instruments. “Doc” Trevor Steinbach will “perform” a field hospital amputation and an actor will portray Cal Boger, who escaped from his Georgia masters during Sherman’s march to Atlanta and found a free new life in Aurora. Abe and Mary Lincoln will share a private hour in the White House before leaving for the theater on April 14, 1865.
Television and movie actor Phillip Van Lear returns to his Aurora roots to read from the works of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Visitors can tour the 1857 Tanner House and immerse themselves in a traveling museum of military armament.
Children may – or may not – enjoy meeting a 19th century schoolmarm. Games and activities will be offered and youngsters will be recruited and sworn into the Union Army after demonstrating their suitability for soldiering.
Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students ages 7-17. Children under 7 are free, but must be accompanied by an adult. Two-day passes are $12 and $8, children free. Consult www.aurorahistory.net for details. Listen to the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band at www.33rdband.org.

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