International re-enactment planned in Liverpool for three days next August

Published on January 25, 2017

Liverpool's waterfront could be crawling with revolutionary war re-enactors for a major international re-enactment event planned for August, 2018.

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LIVERPOOL - Liverpool is known as the “Port of the Privateers”, and along with that, the colorful Kings Orange Rangers from the American Revolution.

Now, as many as 300 revolutionary re-enactors from Canada and the United States are being invited to Liverpool’s waterfront in August, 2018, to stage a major encampment and re-enactment.

The Kings Orange Rangers were a British Loyalist battalion started in 1776 to defend British Interests. Most of their service was done in Nova Scotia, and in the 1770’s, Liverpool was the second largest settlement in Nova Scotia after Halifax. Almost everyone in Liverpool at the time was a New England Planter.

An encampment of the Kings Orange Rangers was set up in Liverpool to help fight off American Privateers, and has been here basically ever since. A group of 37 Kings Orange Rangers stage an encampment and re-enactment during Privateer Days.

Owen Hamlin, president of the Kings Orange Rangers, told council this week about a plan to host a major event next August, which would attract revolutionary war re-enactors from as far away as New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

“The last time an event was held like this in Canada was 2008 in Shelburne,” he said. “We are always looking at recruiting the army and exposing ourselves even further away from privateer days. The idea was to keep it away from privateer days to make it an actual weekend of re-enactment.”

Hamlin said the event would be held on the waterfront, with authentic tents, costumes, and uniforms from other brigades, including Shelburne, Yarmouth, and Saint John, New Brunswick.

It would also feature American re-enactors, who are willing to travel to the event.

“The gurus in the U.S. are mostly museum people and academics, but we had the chance to bring two or three of them here and those are the people who do sewing and uniform construction and how they lived and so on and those people have already committed,” he said.  “We’re very fortunate to get them to say yes. It’s a long distance from New Jersey and Pennsylvania.”

 He said the group hopes to partner with the region, and the Queens County Museum, and other local businesses to help support the event.

The rangers asked the Region of Queens Municipality for $9,400 to help support the event, which will be scheduled over three days, Aug. 10, 11 and 12, 2018.

“It will continue to put the history of people forward,” he said. “Blacksmiths will be here and bring a portable set-up, the settlers will be there to sell stuff. We’ll be down on the waterfront, with a village of its own. I think by doing this it will help us be more involved with the region and businesses,” he said.

He said there will be drills to show how the militia fought, but also enactments to show how the civilians and families lived.

“In history, the most uniforms ever seen in the battlefields were in the revolutionary war,” he said. “Blue and Red, Rhode Island Green, Royal Blue red and gold, and the civilians will be interesting on their own.”

Council approved a motion to support the proposal put forward by the Kings Orange Rangers. Committees will now be set up to plan the event and form partnerships.