Sharpsburg Heritage Day celebrates town

September 16, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

SHARPSBURG - Civil War re-enactors played fifes and drums Saturday on South Mechanic Street in Sharpsburg as crowds lined the streets next to vendors selling reproductions from the 19th century.

The occasion was Sharpsburg Heritage Day, a 4-year-old festival that not only helps commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, but celebrates Sharpsburg's rich history, said Edie Wallace, co-chairman of the event.

Wallace said besides the famous battle, Sharpsburg is rich in history, with former canal stops to the north and south of town.

"We enjoy (Heritage Day) so much," Wallace said. "It's just a great celebration of the town."

She said festival organizers try to recruit vendors who specialize in selling reproductions from the 19th century.

Eric Woods, co-owner of the Dirty Back Boys, a company that makes replicas of Civil War uniforms, said he travels to events such as Sharpsburg Heritage Day and re-enactments where his products are in high demand.


"Our clothing is made by re-enactors for re-enactors," Woods said. "We know what it takes to make an item."

His partner, Wayne Hutzell, said they order their fabric from a North Carolina man who dyes the material with vegetables - the same way it was done during the Civil War.

Woods said he uses period tools from the Civil War to make his uniforms.

"A lot of it is self-taught," he said.

The duo said they travel locally to sell their wares, but plan to expand the business farther west in the near future.

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