Forget the usual gifts and backyard cookout for dad on Father’s Day, and consider some alternatives linked to the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.
For instance, there is a horse and carriage festival in Wisconsin, an introduction to Vermont’s role in the war, a commemoration of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Maryland campaign and an encampment marking the opening of an Ohio prisoner-of-war camp.
●Columbus, Wis., is the place to be June 16 and 17 to see fancy rigs and fine horses compete for prizes in a driving show in a town that is celebrating its Victorian heritage. Spectators can get up close to view this and other free events.
● On the same weekend, about 150 Vermont historical societies and museums as well as conservation and preservation organizations are expected to participate in Tunbridge’s “Vermont and the Civil War” history expo. Fees for adults are $10, students pay $5 and those under 5 get in free.
●The city park in Hagerstown, Md., will host the inauguration of three First Call Weekends to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lee’s first advance into Union territory and to preview other events planned for the sesquicentennial. Frederick, Washington and Carroll counties have joined to form Maryland’s Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area.
Their first event this weekend explores the impact of the Confederate invasion of Maryland with Civil War living history exhibits, tactical skirmishes and demonstrations, and music by the 2nd South Carolina String Band. All the events are free.
●In what may be the first-ever sesquicentennial commemoration of the opening of a prisoner-of-war camp, Sandusky, Ohio, will mark the occasion June 15-17 with free events associated with the infamous prison on Johnson’s Island in Sandusky Bay.
There will be a lecture by David Bush, author of “I Fear I Shall Never Leave This Island Alive: Life in a Civil War Prison,” living history encampments, a Civil War concert and tours.