Get out your Union and Confederate flags and choose a side, because “The Battle of Payson” Civil War re-enactment is set to explode on Green Valley Park, Saturday April 10, from noon to 4 p.m.
“When we say ‘explode’ we mean it,” said Cameron Davis, director of Parks, Recreation and Tourism for the Town of Payson.
This year, live mortar rounds will be fired from large 1862 replica canyons from various parts of Green Valley Park.
This year the organizing group, “We Make History” has increased its involvement and is bringing more than 100 actors who will perform a Civil War drama for all in attendance. The group has been working on several different skirmishes that will happen in addition to the two larger main event battles. One of the additions to this year’s event will be a skirmish involving the women of the period and the many things they had to do in order to protect their families and homes while their men were away fighting in the war, Davis said.
“Way beyond a mere re-enactment, this special event will immerse you in the midst of a large cast of “characters” centered around the year 1862 as they face the many challenges of both combat and civilian life at the crossroads of the War between the States,” he said.
The overall drama starts out under the following premise: “What if Payson had been at the Crossroads of the Grand Drama of the American Civil War?”
“We are very pleased to have We Make History back for a second year in a row. We had so many people beg to bring them back and we are lucky to be working with such a professional group of actors,” Davis said.
We Make History will present “The Battle of Payson,” a first-person interactive drama featuring soldiers and civilians of the North and South, live battle re-enactments and interaction with historic townspeople, historic military personnel and renowned historic personalities such as President Abraham Lincoln and General Robert E. Lee, and then finally a special tribute to all of America’s veterans both past and present at 4 p.m. at the War Memorial in Green Valley Park.
Last, but not least, enjoy an encore presentation starting at 6 p.m. at Gerardo’s Italian Bistro. Pay for dinner and then enjoy a special recital from none other than President Abraham Lincoln.
The public is encouraged to arrive shortly before noon for a family-oriented day of education, inspiration and highly interactive living history.
Local food vendors and merchants will be present. Festivities are planned until 4 p.m. Due to contributions from the Town of Payson and several other groups (Gracie Lee Haught Children’s Memorial Fund, RMG Concessions, Kiwanis Club of Zane Grey Country, Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, Gerardo’s Italian Bistro and the Northern Gila County Historical Society) this event is free to