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Posted September 17, 2009 | comments Leave a comment

Edinburg to host festival saluting Civil War, mill

By Elizabeth Wilkerson -- ewilkerson@nvdaily.com

EDINBURG -- The area's Civil War history will take center stage at this weekend's Edinburg Ole' Time Festival.

"We have so much going on this year, more than we usually do, because we have the salute to our Civil War heritage," said Janet Wagniere, the festival's publicity and promotion chairwoman.

The festival, which is sponsored by the town and the Edinburg Heritage Foundation, is in its 29th year, and this year's theme is "Our Civil War Heritage." The event doesn't usually have a theme, Wagniere said, but "we just thought it was appropriate this year" since it's the
145th anniversary of the 1864 Valley Campaign.

The Edinburg Mill, one of the few to survive Union Gen. Philip Sheridan's 1864 campaign to destroy the valley's mills and farms, will be open for tours during the festival, Wagniere said. The Edinburg/Madison District Museum will be open, as well as portions of the new Transportation Museum, according to a press release on the event.

Work on the mill, which has been under renovation for several years, is "not complete yet, but [people] can at least see what's happened so far," she said. "The Burning," a film about Sheridan's campaign that premiered at last year's festival, will be shown in the mill's new theater, she said.

After Saturday's parade, which begins at 1 p.m., a Civil War fashion show will take place in the old Edinburg Middle School's gymnasium, she said.

A Civil War encampment next to the old Edinburg school will include soldiers, the 2nd South Carolina String Band and a period field hospital, the release says. The band, which has worked with documentarian Ken Burns and was featured in the film "Gods and Generals," Wagniere said, will play on the school lawn stage at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

The band will also play at Saturday night's Civil War Dance, she said. A dance ensemble will be on hand demonstrating and teaching people how to do period dances, she said. Admission to the event, which begins at 8 p.m. in the old school's gymnasium, is $10, and period attire is requested, but not required.

The organizers of the Old Timers' Baseball Game are "really on a roll," she said, and have added a basketball game, which will take place Friday at 8 p.m.

"So, we hope they live through it," she said, laughing. "Assuming they all live till Sunday," the baseball game will take place that day at 1 p.m.

Other returning favorites are the square dance event Saturday at 8 p.m.; the bed and duck races, which will take place at 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively, Sunday; the antique car and tractor show; and the children's festival. A variety of musicians will play on several stages throughout the weekend.

More information on the festival, including a schedule, can be found at www.edinburgoletimefestival.org.

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