The Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation has canceled its annual October battlefield re-enactment near Middletown, the organization announced on its website on Tuesday.
The decision marks the second year in a row that the foundation has canceled all or part of the Civil War re-enactment events that draw participants from around the nation.
In October, during the foundation’s last re-enactment, law enforcement officials responded to a suspicious object at the battlefield, causing the foundation to end events early on the first day and to bar spectators from attending the second day’s re-enactment.
Foundation officials have not stated why the organization has chosen to cancel the events this year. The ccbf.us website on Tuesday and Wednesday had these four words at the top of the home page in white letters on a red background: Reenactment Event is Cancelled.
On Wednesday afternoon, this note was posted by Cedar Creek Battlefield on the organization’s Facebook page:
“New circumstances beyond the control of the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, and our paramount concern for the safety of our reenactors and visitors, have forced us to cancel this year’s reenactment. We do not take this matter, the community of supporters, or the public interest lightly, and we have made this decision with the best of intentions.”
Joe D’Arezzo, the president of the foundation, declined to comment.
Middletown Mayor Charles Harbaugh said that “law enforcement agencies have taken up on it” but declined to elaborate on the reasons for the cancellation.
“If I’m talking to the media, I want to make sure that I’m talking about two Washington Redskins players coming to Middletown tomorrow,” Harbaugh said on Tuesday, the day before the Fourth of July.
Frederick County Sheriff Lenny Millholland said that D’Arezzo had contacted him on Tuesday, informing him that the re-enactment would be canceled.
“D’Arezzo said, ‘Look on the webpage; we’ve canceled it,’” Millholland said. “I did that while I was talking to him and that was about the extent of it.”
Millholland said that “apparently the [foundation’s Board of Directors] decided not to have it” but that he was not aware of the board’s reasoning.
Middletown Police Chief Gary Benedict Jr. said that he was unaware of the cancellation until the Northern Virginia Daily contacted him.
“That is news to me,” Benedict said.
Before Tuesday’s announcement, the foundation had announced that it would raise prices for the re-enactment to pay for security costs.