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Weicht brings re-enactment back to town's Pride Days

July 07, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - While focusing on a future in forestry, Jared Weicht remains firmly rooted in the past as he prepares to take his love of Civil War re-enacting to a new level.

In time for Smithsburg Pride Days on July 17-18, Weicht has organized a revival of a Civil War weekend encampment and a re-enactment of a Civil War battle.

Weicht, 19, has been involved in re-enacting for about 10 years.

"A family friend, Dennis Easterday, got me started and I really enjoy it," Weicht said. "He took me under his wing."

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When the 11th annual Smithsburg Pride Days was in the planning stages, Weicht looked into the possibility of restoring the full-scale re-enactment to the two-day event. It has been two years since there was a large re-enactment of a Civil War battle at the event, he said.

The encampment will be set up in a stand of trees west of the Smithsburg Elementary School's parking lot.

"I'm expecting five or six units, maybe more, will be showing up Friday evening before the two-day Pride Days gets under way," Weicht said. He hopes there will be at least one sutler's store intermingled in the Civil War era tents.

Some units are as small as five members while others may include 20 or more, Weicht said. Some are from New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia.

The re-enactment will be held at 3:30 p.m. on July 17 and at 1:30 p.m. on July 18.

"I'm a member of the 9th Virginia Cavalry, Company B, Dismounted, which is out of Harrisburg, Pa.," Weicht said. "Dismounted means we don't have horses."

Fresh from a late June weekend re-enactment in Shippensburg, Pa., Weicht said he and others will be dressed in period wool while involved in the re-enactment and encampment.

A 2003 graduate of Smithsburg High School, Weicht works at the Smithsburg Food Lion, helps on his father's farm and attends classes at Hagerstown Community College. He hopes to continue his studies at Penn State University in forestry.

In addition to the encampment and re-enactment, the 11th annual Pride Days celebration will include craft and food vendors, exhibits by local artists and crafters.

The kickoff on Saturday, July 17, will be a pancake and sausage breakfast from 6 to 10 a.m. at the Smithsburg Fire Department. A 5-K and fun run starts at 8 a.m. There will be a tennis tournament and a parade from FilTec to the tennis courts at 11 a.m.

Live entertainment on Saturday will include bluegrass concerts at noon and 2 p.m. on Railroad Lane; and a 1 p.m. variety music event on Maple Avenue.

Karaoke and a street dance on Railroad Lane from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. will round out the Saturday activities.

Sunday's events begin with a community worship service at St. Anne's Episcopal Church at 8 a.m. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., a Cal Ripken League baseball tournament is planned for the baseball field on Pennsylvania Avenue.

In addition to the second re-enactment on Sunday, there will be children's activities, a Flight's End Raptor Center exhibit, more live entertainment, a model railroad display at Trinity Lutheran Church, open houses at several churches and at the Smithsburg Historical Society on North Main Street and the Emergency Medical Services on Maple Avenue from 1 to 4 p.m.

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