Sunday, July 12, 2009

Old Fort MacArthur Days

On the weekend following Independence Day an interesting cast of characters descend on Old Fort MacArthur Museum each year. First and sixth century Romans, medieval warriors, pirates, Minutemen, Redcoats, Hussars, Union and Confederate soldiers, WWI infantry, WWII including Japanese Imperial soldiers, Marines from the Vietnam War and even a couple actual, active military men set up camp overlooking the Pacific Ocean in San Pedro.

The gathered hoard have encampments and reenactments. Small scale wars rage on the battlefield. Cooks prepare meals from their respective times and places. Vendors sell vintage military wares and reproductions. Fraternal organizations and historical societies disseminate information and shill for new members.

These are people that not only love history, but live it.

The Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War Encampment

Confederate Soldiers
preparing for the 1 o'clock battle

Roman legions preparing lunch

Revolutionary American Camp

Revolutionary British Camp

The armaments of the medieval warriors

Roman blacksmith

Sixth Century Roman Camp


Confederate Soldiers receiving instruction

Old Fort MacArthur Days is about three things - history, camaraderie and fund raising. It sometimes appears that the participants outnumber the public roaming around the grounds and I'd guess most participants would be okay if everyone there was dressed in some period outfit pretending that there's nothing strange about a pirate raid of a Native American camp.

Last year I was only at the event for a short while and missed most of the exhibits down the hill toward the ocean. This year I rambled around from our encampment to the other areas for most the day. The best way to experience the event is to just stop for awhile, pull up a chair and let the people pass you on their way to do other things.

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