Central Florida

Travel back to Civil War period in Tavares


Orlando Sentinel

A living history encampment will transport visitors back to the Civil War period at the “Rifles, Rails & History: Steam Back to the North and South” living history encampment Friday through Sunday at Wooton Park overlooking Lake Dora in downtown Tavares.

Activities will include a re-enactors parade down Main Street, skirmishes, Navy demonstrations, artillery and cavalry demonstrations, drills, historic presentations and exhibits, a ladies tea, a formal ball and a “Blue & Gray” walking tour of historic houses and buildings in Tavares.

A replica of the Confederate H.L. Hunley submarine will be on display. In 1864, during the Civil War, the Union ship USS Housatonic was rammed and sunk in Charleston Harbor, S.C., by the Hunley, which also sank.

Al Stone will portray Gen. Robert E. Lee on Sept. 28 and 29.

Visitors can hop aboard the Orange Blossom Cannonball train, which was featured in the Civil War-themed miniseries North and South and The Blue and the Gray. The two-hour ride will depart from the station by Wooton Park at 6 p.m. Friday. Passengers can enjoy cocktails from the Civil War period such as mint julep or apple pie moonshine while traveling through the Rifles, Rails & History encampment. A cash bar will be available. Tickets for “Rails and Cocktails” are $35 per person plus tax.

The train will offer 40-minute rides featuring a Confederate re-enacted attack on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for children ages 4 to 12.

For a schedule of events or more information, visit riflesrailsandhistory.com.

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