Yarmouth reenactment to offer glimpse of army life in 1780

Published on August 26, 2014

By Eric Bourque




An event to be held over the Aug. 29-31 weekend in Yarmouth is a chance for people to go back in time, back to the late 18th century.

Reenactors from across Nova Scotia are slated to take part in the event, which will be held outdoors at Th’YARC.

The weekend’s activities will include a mock battle – scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. – as well as Friday and Saturday evening parades to the Killam Brothers wharf, where there will be sunset firings.

David Olie, one of the event’s organizers and a reenactment participant, describes it as “a real slice” of army life from 1780.

“We do as much as we can just exactly the way they would have done it back then,” he said, “so all the food is cooked over fires and we use period ingredients and period recipes for what we eat, and anything that we have to have on site that’s 21st century is hidden away so as to maintain the illusion that you’ve headed back into the past.”

About 50 reenactors, from about as far away as Antigonish, are expected to take part, he said. The last local reenactment of this kind was in 2011.

The reenactments used to be held behind the Yarmouth library, which is a lovely spot, Olie said, but organizers found they weren’t getting a lot of visibility there. They hope being on Parade Street will enable more people to see something’s going on and maybe encourage them to stop by and get a closer look. There is no admission fee, although donations will be accepted and will help pay for future events of this kind.

This year’s main sponsor is Coastal Financial Credit Union and various local merchants have helped out too, Olie said.

Olie, who has been doing reenactments like this for about a half-dozen years, said he likes how such events bring history to life, making it less an academic subject and more something people can actually see.

As far as weather goes, the plan probably would be to have the event even if it rains, provided the conditions aren’t too bad.

“A light rain will not stop it,” he said.