YOUNGSTOWN – All veterans, whether they served in the past or are on active duty, gain free admission to the first reenactment of the 2014 season when Old Fort Niagara hosts Patriots Day Weekend Saturday and next Sunday.
The two-day event commemorates the beginning of the American Revolution and honors all veterans. Beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing throughout the day, reenactors portraying British Redcoats and American militia will present musket-firing demonstrations, 18th century drill and storytelling programs about soldier life during the American Revolution.
At 11 a.m., young people will have the opportunity to enlist in either the British or American armies to fight a mock battle and learn about battlefield tactics during the 18th century.
“It’s a time to shake off the cobwebs and get outside, because we will have a lot going on outdoors,” said Robert L. Emerson, the Fort’s executive director.
At 2 p.m. Saturday, The French Honorary Consul for Western New York, Pascal Soares, will posthumously award Vincent Consiglio of Buffalo with the Legion of Honor for meritorious service contributing to the liberation of France during World War II. Consiglio, who passed away in July 2013, was a veteran of the 291st Combat Engineers and took part in the Omaha Beach landing on D-Day. He received the Bronze Star with Valor during the Battle of the Bulge.
“Last year, we presented Patriot Awards to Vince Consiglio and his brother, Joe Consiglio, here during Patriots Weekend, honoring their military service in World War II,” Emerson recalled. “Joe received the Legion of Honor for his service a couple of years ago and now Vince will receive the award posthumously.”
A local reenactment group, Hoisington’s New York Ranging Company, hosts the weekend event, Emerson said.
The schedule for both days is as follows: assembly with musket drill and firings at 10 a.m.; recruiting demonstration, offering young visitors a chance to join the British redcoats or the American militia and fight a mock battle at 11 a.m.; storytelling about the Battles of Lexington and Concord at noon; a chance to meet the soldiers at 1 p.m.; drill and musket-firing followed by the veterans honor ceremony at 2 p.m.; and parade and maneuvers at 3 p.m. to wrap up the day’s events.