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The Summer Bucket List: Historical Events in WNY

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By Jennifer Weber

You don’t need a flux capacitor to go back in time and experience history. This month, right here in Western New York, there are so many options available for you and your family to explore. Also, here’s a personal inside scoop from one of those crazy historical reenactors (my husband and I do Revolutionary War and French & Indian War)—don’t be afraid to ask questions and approach the reenactors for photos. Despite not having cameras back in the day, we actually enjoy taking selfies with the guests!

This Weekend:

The Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, located at 3755 Tonawanda Creek Road, Amherst is hosting a Civil War School of the Soldier on Saturday, Aug. 5 from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Children ages 8-14 will participate in activities that Civil War soldiers did, from playing games and singing songs, to marching, drilling and other planned scenarios. Lunch, non-firing wooden muskets and battle flags are included with the registration fee of $30. Parents are welcome to attend and observe. The BNHV also is hosting an Intro to Blacksmithing workshop this weekend, but there’s a wait list to get in on a spot. For more information visit www.bnhv.org.

Soldiers of the American Revolution will be held at Old Fort Niagara, located in Youngstown, NY on Saturday, Aug. 5 and Sunday, August 6 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day. This annual event demonstrates life on the New York frontier during the American Revolution. Activities include battle reenactments, period camps, musket and artillery demonstrations, Native councils and period games. Admission fees are $12 for Adults $12, $8 for Children ages 6-12 and Free for Children Under 5. For more information visit www.oldfortniagara.org.

You won’t want to miss Laura Ingalls Wilder Weekend 2017 this weekend Saturday, Aug. 5 and Sunday, August 6 from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day at Genesee Country Village & Museum, 1410 Flint Hill Road, Mumford. The special guests of this year’s 19th-century frontier life festival includes Dean Butler, who played Almanzo Wilder and author Pamela Smith Hill, who publisher of Ms. Wilder’s Annotated Biography, Pioneer Girl. Tickets are $22 for Adults; $19 Senior Citizens/College Students; $14 Children Ages 4-18 and FREE for Children under the age of 4. For more information, visit www.gcv.org.

Go back in time with Sterling Renaissance Festival located at 15385 Farden Road, Sterling, NY. The last two weekends of the festival take place Saturday, Aug. 5 – Sunday, Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 12 – Sunday, Aug. 13 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Become a part of the fun joining street performers, comedians and musicians who recreate an authentic English Renaissance village. Auctions, pubs, artisans and so many delicious food options await. Visit www.sterlingfestival.com for more information.

Next Weekend:

The Arcade & Attica Railroad, located at 278 Main Street, Arcade is celebrating its 100th Anniversary and hosting a Civil War Days Train Ride on Saturday, Aug. 12 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 13 at 11 a.m. The train ride lasts for 2 hours and 20 minutes and will stop to visit historical encampments and interact with reenactors. Tickets are $20. This event takes place rain or shine and passengers are asked to arrive at least one hour early and be at the boarding area 15 minutes prior to departure. For more information, visit www.aarailroad.com

For something a little more recent, historically speaking, the Buffalo Steel Plant & Railroad Museum located at 100 Lee Street, Buffalo will be hosting a Rosie the Riveter Tea Party on Saturday, Aug. 12 from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. This event will celebrate the 72nd Anniversary of the end of World War II and guests are encouraged to wear their best Rosie outfits. Admission is $3. For more information, visit www.steelplantmuseumwny.org.

One of the hidden gems in Western New York includes the Hull House Family and Homestead located at 5976 Genesee Street, Lancaster. The Hull House hosts its annual Revolutionary War Living History Weekend, the only Revolutionary War reenactment in Erie County on Saturday, Aug. 12 and Sunday, Aug. 13 from 10 a.m.- 4.p.m. Tickets are $5 for Adults; $2 for Children Ages 8-14 and Free for Children Under 8.

And while you’re at the Erie County Fair from Aug. 9-Aug. 20 make sure to stop by the Historical Building to experience ongoing historical reenactments and period demonstrations

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