By Wade Linville – Ripley Bee
The 20th annual Grant Days Celebration in Georgetown is quickly approaching, and this year’s event that is slated for April 21-23 will feature some new activities to entertain and educate.
Event coordinators looking forward to the new U.S. Grant being portrayed by Dr. Curt Fields. “We’re pretty excited about this year’s event,” said Stan Purdy, a Georgetown attorney who has played a huge role in coordinating the Grant Days Celebration each year.
“Dr. Curt Fields will portray our new Grant and his wife will portray Mrs. Grant. This will be a special event.” According to Purdy, Fields also plans to bring along several friends to portray Union officers.
Dr. Fields, a career educator and former history teacher, has been portraying U.S. Grant for the past several years at various historic events and presentations. He shares a very close resemblance to U.S. Grant and possesses a vast amount of knowledge on Civil War history.
The event will kick off Thursday, April 21 with Dr. Ned Lodwick speaking on the Fighting 59th OVI at the Georgetown United Methodist Church Hall at 109 East State Street beginning at 7:30 p.m. Lodwick’s presentation is free to the public. People will get the opportunity to “Meet the Grants” at the Georgetown United Methodist Church Hall as the Grant Days Celebration continues at 7:30 p.m. On Friday, April 22.
There is a long line of events slated for Saturday, April 23 around the U.S. Grant Boyhood Home in Georgetown.
Saturday’s activities will begin at 9 a.m. with Lodwick leading the way on a guided history walk that starts and ends at the U.S. Grant homestead. There will be a Grant photo display all day on Saturday at the
Headquarters Tent near the Grant Boyhood Home. The Grant Boyhood Home and one-room schoolhouse located at 508 South Water Street will be open all day on April 23, as will Grant’s Headquarters and Signal Corps.
The Ammen House, home of Admiral Daniel and General Jacob Ammen, located at 115 South Apple Street will be open from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 23 (weather permitting).
A children’s chalk drawing contest will take place from 11-11:30 a.m. on April 23, while Seventh Ohio Cavalry Demonstrations will take place from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Joe Krom, author of “Ulysses Grant: Youth to Uniform”, will also be present for a book signing on April 23. Other “all day” events scheduled for April 23 include Infantry Drills and Firing, a Soldier’s Food Demonstration, a Blacksmith’s Demonstration, and an Artillery Demonstration.
Free attractions will also be held in the Living History Tent located in the yard of the Grant Boyhood Home from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 23. At 10:30 a.m., Dr. Fields, while portraying U.S. Grant, will give a presentation at the Living History Tent on how Grant became a Lieutenant
The activities at the tent will continue at 11 a.m. with Mike Miller giving a presentation called “Ulysses’ Last Battle.” Rob Curtis will then give a presentation on “Sherman’s March to the Sea” in the Living History Tent from 11:30 a.m. until noon, followed by a Period Magic Show by Professor Faris from 12-12:30 p.m.
The children’s chalk drawing awards ceremony will take place at the Living History Tent at 12:30 p.m. on April 23. Following a break for lunch, the Civil War Revue Band will perform for the crowd near Grant’s Boyhood Home from 1-1:30 p.m. Professor Faris will then entertain the crowd with a second Period Magic Show from 1:30 – 2 p.m.
The day continues with Dr. Curt Fields’ presentation, “1864: The Overland Campaign – 40 Days in Hell.”
There will be a Civil War Questions and Answers Panel from 2:30 – 3 p.m., followed by the Ladies’ Tea presentation, “Broken Country, Broken Families, Broken Hearts”, by Millie Henley.
To cap off the event there will be a Memorial to the Brown County Civil War Soldiers presentation to take place from 4 – 4:30 p.m.
For more information on this year’s Grant Days Celebration in Georgetown, call (937) 378-3087 or (937) 378-4119. Questions can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Information on the Grant Boyhood Home can be found at www.usgrantboyhoodhome.org.