For our 30th anniversary we are looking to the past to honor the Horse Heroes that came before. What better way to celebrate our theme than hosting Mark Farrar and his group of re-enactors to join us in Celebration Park.
Mark himself started participating in re-enactments in 1973 when America was getting ready to celebrate a big birthday, too (the bicentennial in 1976!) At first, he was a part of the Fife and Drum group but when he had to buy a uniform he started looking into making his own. From there he learned a few tips and tricks about tailoring and he researched the different materials that go into making historically accurate costumes. Mark even started to make his own patterns too!
Mark joined the Army and met his wife soon after; she taught him how to ride. This was a turning point for Mark - his attention then turned to the U.S. Cavalry and his wife, Laura, learned more about side-saddles and even starting riding side-saddle. Mark says “Since the 1980s most of our research and re-enacting has been focused on the Civil War and Indian Wars. It also became a family hobby when our kids were old enough to participate.”
When we asked Mark about his inspiration and motivation he mentioned a sincere interest in history and finding out what happened, which allows him to tell others about it. Mark stated “Getting history right is important as it’s a tool for exploring why things happened and how they affected where we are now.”
Our BreyerFest guests can look forward to history coming to life with Mark’s group of Civil War re-enactors and their horses. It’s the perfect way to learn a little bit more about the past and appreciate the American military horse tradition and the important role it played within American History. There’s even the chance to see their reproduction equipment and uniforms up close. And you can even try on some of their uniforms for yourselves!
Mark mentioned that he has quite a few saddles and bits of tack that people would not have seen before. These include a 1847 Grimsley, a 1885 McClellan open tree saddle, and a very unique reproduction Sibley tent. For anyone who doesn’t know, the Sibley tent was first patented in 1856 after the inventor was initially inspired by teepees. Since then the tent was adopted by the US Army and was used for the rest of the 1800s. The Sibley tent really brings history to live and gives guests the chance to see how mounted soldiers really lived in the 19th Century.
You can visit the Civil War re-enactment camp throughout the weekend in Celebration Park. The full schedule will be unveiled in the Program in June.
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