North America's largest War of 1812 re-enactment spectacle coming to Eastern Ontario

    International Event at Crysler's Farm Battlefield National Historic Site
    and World-renown Upper Canada Village Combine to Offer a Weekend Rich in
    Living History

    MORRISBURG, ON, June 26 /CNW/ - On July 11 and 12, 2009, the grounds of
the Battle of Crysler's Farm monument, adjacent to historic Upper Canada
Village, will set the stage for North America's largest War of 1812
re-enactment event, the GRAND TACTICAL. This signature international
re-enactment event alternates each year between sites in Canada and the United
States. For the first time ever, thanks to efforts of the Friends of Crysler's
Farm Battlefield, Eastern Ontario will play host to hundreds of re-enactors
from all over North America who will be participating in this monumental event
on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, just south of Ottawa.
    The Grand Tactical was created to encourage wider participation in 1812
living history and to highlight the different regions in which the war was
fought, making Crysler's Farm Battlefield National Historic Site an ideal
location for a re-enactment of this scale. The event is right next door to
award-winning Upper Canada Village, where some special re-enactment activities
will also be taking place. With the added bonus of nearby riverside camping
facilities, the weekend is expected to draw thousands of tourists looking to
take advantage of two world-class, premier living history experiences in one
    Hundreds of re-enactors portraying American and Anglo-Canadian armies and
His Majesty's Mohawk Allies will take part in three battles during the
weekend. Two of the battles will be showcased on Saturday and Sunday. A third
battle will unfold inside Upper Canada Village on Saturday evening, after
regular Village programming is finished, along with military musters, comedy
and music acts, and English Country dancing.
    Many of the units taking part in the Grand Tactical are re-creations of
the actual regiments that fought on John Crysler's Farm on November 11, 1813.
The rattle of musketry will be punctuated by the roar of cannons as the two
armies depict engagements from the troubled times of the War of 1812, when
armies from the new republic to the south invaded British North America
seeking to make it the newest state.
    In keeping with the greater scope of this year's Grand Tactical
re-enactment event, there will be an increase in civilian activities during
the weekend. Chief among these will be a War of 1812 era re-enacted wedding on
Saturday. All officers of the regiments that will be taking part in the
re-enactment, and their escorts, will be invited. There will be limited
seating for the public for the ceremony, but all visitors to the site can
enjoy a grand finale after the ceremony when the couple emerge from the church
to be greeted by an honour guard of scarlet-jacketed British soldiers and the
musicians of the 15-member Corps of Drums of the Crown Forces. They will then
travel in an open carriage, accompanied by their cavalry escort, to their
wedding reception in the encampment near the Battle of Crysler's Farm
Battlefield Memorial. The happy couple feature Markus and Sonja Schneider,
long-time historical re-enactors who will actually be renewing their vows for
the occasion.
    Throughout the weekend, the re-enacting soldiers will be joined by
civilians portraying the camp life of those who accompanied armies of the
period while they were on the march. The sprawling tented camps of the armies
together with crafters, artisans and suttlers will combine to bring the
largest-ever display of living history to an area that is no stranger to the
heritage of this country.
    "Events such as the War of 1812 Grand Tactical Re-enactment are exactly
the kind of high-calibre attractions that we embrace, in order to entice new
and repeat visitors to the area", says Pat Macdonald, General Manager and CEO
of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission which operates Upper Canada Village.
"These events in turn help generate renewed interest and appeal in our own
facilities and sites, creating new activity and revenue streams that
contribute to the sustainability of our operations."
    With so much so see and do over the two-day period, the Friends of
Crysler's Farm Battlefield and Upper Canada Village are offering visitors
value-added packages to entice them to not only partake in the battles of the
Grand Tactical event and Upper Canada Village, but to add an overnight camping
experience into the mix as well. Ready-made campsites (where a durable, well
ventilated tent is already set up on a platform waiting for your arrival),
will be available at nearby Crysler Park Marina on the shores of the St.
Lawrence River.
    Tickets to the Grand Tactical event are only $5 per battle for adults and
$2 per battle for children. Grand Tactical Weekend Passes of $10 per adult and
$4 per child (includes all three battles) are also available. For even more
value, the cost of individual battle tickets can be applied against Upper
Canada Village's regular admission fees for those guests wishing to visit the
Village as well, meaning visitors will save $5 each per day (or $10 off for
the weekend) to visit the Village. "Ready-made" campsites for only $39.95 per
site that weekend (will sleep up to four comfortably) can be booked ahead at
(613)-543-3254. Seasoned campers with their own equipment can also camp nearby
at Riverside-Cedar Campground ... book online at or by
calling 1-800-437-2233. Willards' Hotel restaurant in Upper Canada Village
will be open on Saturday for dinner leading up to the evening battle; spaces
are limited, reserve ahead at 613-543-0660.
    The Friends of Crysler's Farm Battlefield are a dedicated group of
volunteers who aim to preserve the memory of the stirring victory of Joseph
Wanton Morrison's Anglo-Canadian army on November 11, 1813, a crucial moment
in the history of Upper Canada that marked the end of the most serious attempt
of the time to invade Canada. The Friends work in partnership with Upper
Canada Village and the St. Lawrence Parks Commission in creating the annual
re-enactment event at Crysler's Farm Battlefield National Historic Site.
    For more information about the event, visit or or call 1-800-437-2233 (613-543-4328 locally).
Operated by The St. Lawrence Parks Commission, Upper Canada Village and
Crysler's Farm Battlefield National Historic Site are located at Exit 758 off
Highway 401, 11 km east of Morrisburg off County Road 2, 30 minutes (24 km
west) of Cornwall, 60 minutes southeast of Ottawa and 90 minutes west of
Montreal, east of Kingston and northeast of Watertown, New York.

For further information:

For further information: Jancis Sommerville, Upper Canada Village
Marketing Officer,, (613) 543-3704, ext 2495

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