About 1,000 spectators went back in time 66 years Sunday afternoon as they watched a World War II battle unfold at Heritage Park in Brunswick.
The Brunswick Area Historical Society put on the fourth-annual, two-day event, which featured 25 participants engaging in three battle re-enactments, as well as several World War II exhibits for families to explore.
The participants in the re-enactment were on hand after the battle scenes to take pictures and answer questions about their gear and armor.
Seventeen-year-old Alex Lawson, of Pickerington, allowed kids to try on different pieces of German gear at his exhibit. He said he has been participating in re-enactments for about a year.
“The military uniforms here are so cool,” Lawson said. “I found out there’s people still wearing them.”
With their heavy-duty artillery and gear, Lawson and the other German impersonators pulled their collectibles together to create an authentic atmosphere. Lawson said he even found old German music to load on his iPod, which he positioned with a set of speakers inside an old, wooden Chinese radio.
Historical Society President Amber Dalakas said the event was a success.
“It’s a nice way to educate the public about history in a more interesting way than a classroom setting,” Dalakas said. “It’s nice to spark an interest.”
Sunday’s re-enactment featured the Germans in a 1944 battle in Northern Italy.
Event coordinator John Keaton, of Parma Heights, took part in the battle as an Italian sergeant.
“This helps kids appreciate veterans,” Keaton said. A few local World War II veterans made appearances at the event throughout the weekend, he said.
Historical Society Secretary Sally Hunter said the event was a great way to teach kids the relevance of history.
“Everyone thinks of history as being hundreds of years ago,” Hunter said. “But World War II is part of our history, too. A lot of people have a vested interest in it.”
Members of the Historical Society also sold items to raise money for the society to continue holding events such as the WorldWar II re-enactment. Hunter said the next big event will be the annual Civil War re-enactment in the fall.
Contact Jennifer Pignolet at (330) 721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.