History

Gun laws force Elk Grove Historical Society to cancel Revolutionary War reenactment

FILE -- Troops march during a reenactment of Gen. George Washington's daring Christmas 1776 crossing of the Delaware River, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, in Washington Crossing, Pa. An upcoming planned Revolutionary War reenactment in Elk Grove was canceled due to  codes preventing firearm discharge across the city.
FILE -- Troops march during a reenactment of Gen. George Washington's daring Christmas 1776 crossing of the Delaware River, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, in Washington Crossing, Pa. An upcoming planned Revolutionary War reenactment in Elk Grove was canceled due to codes preventing firearm discharge across the city. AP File Photo

After nine months of planning, a Revolutionary War festival planned to be held this April at Elk Grove Regional Park has been canceled due to local codes that prohibit use of firearms, the Elk Grove Citizen reported last week.

Hosted by the Elk Grove Historical Society, the event had planned to include battle reenactments involving as many as 13 muskets. But in December, the historical society learned that city firearm codes would be enforced at the park, and earlier this month the Cosumnes Community Services District rejected the group's request to make an exception, according to the Citizen.

Being reported less than two weeks after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida prompted nationwide gun-control discussions, the reenactment's cancellation made national headlines this week. Fox News reported that officials asked the Elk Grove group if they could use wooden sticks in place of muskets. The historical society panned that idea.

Historical society members also asked the CSD board to consider allowing the event in 2019, but no decision has been made yet, according to the Citizen.

Event organizers had already printed flyers for the two-day event and hoped to attract about 3,000 spectators, according to CBS 13.

“They (potential participants) were tremendously disappointed, because they invested time to plan it with other organizations,” Elk Grove Historical Society President Ken Miller told the Citizen. “There was one from Southern California – a British marching unit – to go with their Delaware Patriot marching unit, and then they had a consolidated fife and drum band that was also going to participate over at the two-day event.”

The historical society has a museum at Elk Grove Regional Park. The event, officially titled "Revolutionary War Days in Elk Grove," was scheduled for April 7-8.

Revolutionary and Civil War reenactments are less common on the West Coast than in the East, where the actual battles took place.

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