Connecting with reenactors requires continual involvement in the culture and personal motivations of a unique community. These specialized families of volunteers bring an extraordinary experience to national parks across the country, whose significance spans centuries.
On April 20th and 21st, Morristown National Historical Park benefitted again from the dedication of multiple units of Revolutionary War reenactors from across the Northeast. Thirteen groups came from as far away as Maryland and Massachusetts to reenact the 1780 spring encampment at Jockey Hollow.
Visitors had the opportunity to immerse themselves in an active camp and chat with reenactors about what life was like for families during that era and what challenges they would have faced. Over 2,000 people arrived to experience the coordinated military drills and hear the boom of the cannons. Children and adults alike found something to explore throughout the two day event.
The event was a powerful beginning to National Park Week in New Jersey. Morristown combined the reenactment with its annual VIP appreciation party, which had to be rescheduled this year due to Hurricane Sandy. Over 140 volunteers were treated to many thanks by the entire management team, a potluck dinner, and a pig roast. There was food and singing for all for many hours. The continually expanding efforts to demonstrate appreciation have increased participation in the event each year, with some groups reporting 100% participation by their membership.
The reenactment was managed under an ICS structure with involvement in planning from the volunteer unit leads. Operational risk assessments were completed for black powder and fire utilizing the GAR assessment model.
For additional information, please contact Chief of Interpretation Justin Monetti at 973-214-8924.