On Sept. 18-19, the American Revolution returns to Western New York in a big way. Three of the largest 18th century reenactment organizations in North America will converge on Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown for a weekend of large-scale battle reenactments, living history camps and other educational activities. The theme of the event will be “Raid and Retribution” focusing on the Revolution on the New York frontier.
The Brigade of the American Revolution, the Continental Line and the British Brigade are umbrella organizations composed of dozens of recreated military units and hundreds of reenactors from all over the U.S. and Canada. What they all share in common is a passion for research and accurate portrayal of the people who fought the American Revolution almost 250 years ago.
When they arrive at Old Fort Niagara, reenactors will establish large period camps that display many of the camp activities that took place on a daily basis during the War for Independence. Camp life will play out much as it did during the 18th century with military formations, colors ceremonies, medical displays and martial drills.
Highlights of each day will be two large-scale battle reenactments, artillery duels and fife and drum music by the assembled music corps of both British and American armies. Period merchants will also set up camp, offering their wares to participants and public alike. Others will demonstrate period crafts, showing how artisans provided items needed to keep armies in the field.
Not only will this event be Old Fort Niagara’s largest of the year, but it will also be the largest American Revolutionary War event in North America for 2021. Hours for the event are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
During the American Revolution, Fort Niagara served as British headquarters on the Great Lakes, as a base for frontier raids and a destination for Loyalist refugees. The fort features several original 18th century buildings that predate the war. During the event, hundreds of reenactors will bring the fort’s venerable buildings and fortifications to life as they recreate the New York frontier of the 1770s.