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Posted September 21, 2009 | comments Leave a comment

Civil War heritage on display during Ole' Time Festival

By Garren Shipley -- gshipley@nvdaily.com

EDINBURG -- All things old were new again Saturday in Edinburg, as the town celebrated its 29th annual Ole' Time Festival.

The streets were lined with parked cars, and sidewalks couldn't contain the hordes of people moving from one area of the festival to another.

At one point just before the feature parade, cars were parked along Stoney Creek Road all the way from downtown to the Interstate 81 overpass.

Given the Shenandoah Valley's prominent role in the Civil War, an emphasis on the war between the states wasn't entirely unexpected.

Men and women dressed in Civil War-era fashion were found everywhere, including some who took their love of the past into the competitive arena.

Several members of the North-South Skirmish Association were on hand Saturday, showing off their authentic and reproduction Civil War-era firearms.

While reenactors shot unloaded muskets at each other, members of the skirmish association competed against each other by shooting live ammunition in tests of speed and accuracy, said Harold Silcott, of Edinburg.

"All of us enjoy the shooting. There are people up there who are very serious about the history of it," he said, showing off an authentic Civil War breechloading, percussion-cap rifle.

For others at the festival, old times meant remembering summers on the farm with their fathers.

That's one of the draws for enthusiasts of antique tractors, according to Pat Dawson, president of the Massanutten Antique Tractor and Gasoline Engine Club.

Restoring and handling the old iron touches something in the memories from childhood that reaches back decades.

When young men move off the farm, "they get out of it for a while, they go to school or get into other activities, but it doesn't leave your blood," he said.

"We get people coming through all the time saying, 'I'd really like to find one just like Dad's," he said.

Much of the experience is camaraderie, added Johnny Heath, of Berryville.

"People who come to tractor shows, and the people who show their tractors, you'll never find a nicer crowd of people," he said.

Others came out just for a bit of late summer whimsy.

Linda Stoneburner, of Page County, rode the parade route in the back of her husband Frank's 1961 Chevy Corvair truck, sitting in a rocking chair and doing her best to look like Granny Clampett -- right down to the jug of white lightning.

They both had a great time.

"He liked his old truck, he said let's just dress up in the parade and be the Hamburg Hillbillies," she said.


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