In January, my son made his way down to Indianapolis for a historical re-enactment at Fort Harrison State Park. My husband and I went down to watch some of the action. For the past couple of years my son has been participating in World War II re-enactments and they’ve been really interesting to attend as a spectator. The re-enactors take their roles seriously, making sure that uniforms and equipment are authentic.
We’ve attended some very large re-enactments in the Chicago area in the fall and this was the first time we made our way out to one in the winter. It was held at Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis and was a Battle of the Bulge re-enactment. We bundled up and made our way out to see a mock battlefield, listened to some knowledgeable historians talk about military history, and made our way through a traveling museum with an extensive collection of uniforms and other military accessories along with a chronological timeline of the days leading up to the battle.
Due to the pandemic, I was told that there was a much smaller crowd of re-enactors and spectators this year. That annual re-enactment, I learned, is not the only one that takes place at the state park. In early March it was also the site of the Eastern Front Re-enactment & Display. This living history event is organized by volunteers and included different spectator stations where visitors could learn more. A Pacific Theatre re-enactment typically happens in August, as well.
Fort Harrison State Park has hiking and mountain biking trails for those who love the outdoors, but it’s also a location where you can learn a lot about our country’s past and the history at one of the annual re-enactments or at a permanent museum. The park is also home to the Museum of the 20th Century Warfare, a small venue, but one that is full of interesting exhibits. It is open with limited hours from Thursday through Saturday until summer.