Well, the weather on Sunday was much nicer than the previous day; it was a bit muggy, and overcast at times, but it stayed dry and the sky showed a lot of its beautiful blue color throughout the day, making it very pleasant to be outdoors.
Attendance was down this year, unfortunately, but we'll still end up with close to 600 guests having visited the museum and park over the weekend, and that is still great news.
We're also very pleased with how the kickoff of our new membership program went, as we sold over 20 memberships. They cost $20 for an individual and $35 for a family for a year, and will get the members discounts in our gift shop and used book sale, sneak previews of upcoming events, quarterly museum newsletters and updates and more benefits as time goes on. We're very pleased with the sales we made this weekend, as the James A Ramage Civil War Museum becomes financially self-sustaining starting July 1, 2011, and this program will be a key in us raising the funds to reach our goal.
The performances this weekend were outstanding. The re-enactors had a wonderful encampment and, as always, were glad to interact with visitors.
One highlight occurred Sunday when members of the 9th Kentucky Infantry (Confederate) and other groups co-operated to put together a court-martial over an accused deserter. That was entertaining, with an Union soldier providing damning testimony about the accused.
The Ladies' Living History Society of Greater Cincinnati put on a great fashion show as well. It's amazing how many clothes women at the time had to wear. These fine ladies in their fine dresses always will catch your eye.
Granville Griffith, the "Appalachian Beekeeper" had his wagon present and displayed many aspects of beekeeping and the uses of the products of the bees' labor. He was a new addition to the event this year and his warm, open personality and fascinating display made this station a very popular stop. He will certainly be welcomed back in upcoming years.
Stan Wernz did his terrific performance as Abraham Lincoln again, while Tom Kriedler and Bernie O'Bryan showed up as Generals Lew Wallace and Horatio Wright to entertain the crowd with their presentations.
The 5th Ohio Light Artillery unit provided us with several bangs throughout both days. I've heard them shoot the cannons each of the last 4 years now, yet I still find it to be just about the coolest thing I can imagine. (Perhaps that's because I know nobody's shooting back!)
For some of the family entertainment, we invited a new petting zoo this year. The Honey Hill Farms zoo proved to be quite popular and their animals were a big hit with both kids and adults. It was fun seeing alpacas, goats, a miniature horse and a donkey, among other animals, in the park.
All-in-all, the event went as well as we could have hoped, and I truly enjoyed being in charge of bringing it together this year. It was quite a challenge, but the members of the museum's board put in a lot of hours over this summer and I thank them for that. A big, big BIG thank you also goes to the museum volunteers who spent extra hours this weekend making sure the event was fully staffed and visitors could enjoy their experience. It was a busy and tiresome, but rewarding weekend and I now can look forward to Battery Hooper Days 2011.