History repeats itself, especially in May at Maloit Park in Minturn.
For the second year in a row, about 200 eighth-graders from Gypsum Creek Middle School, Homestake Peak School and Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy will re-enact the Civil War Battle of Shiloh from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28.
“Spectators are encouraged, we would love to see more of the community coming out to watch this year,” said Torrey Kaddatz, a GCMS social studies teacher who is one of the event’s organizers.
Students spend six weeks studying the Civil War and then they raise money for the privilege of acting in this pyro-technic-laced event. Muskets and cannons appear to have smoke trailing from their barrels, and other gadgetry sends dirt flying through the air as blue and gray uniforms clash in the aspens of Maloit Park.
The event is made possible by You Can Live History! – a Denver-based non-profit that provides the props and uniforms – and even a bit of acting instruction – and then films the battle scenes. The scenes are then edited together to make an official-looking documentary.
A teacher at Homestake Peak School (formerly Minturn Middle School) helped bring the opportunity to Eagle County after she took her students to Denver for a re-enactment with 400 eighth-graders. Some Eagle County teachers, including Kaddatz, hope to build enough participation in the event so that You Can Live History! will continue trucking its equipment up here.
“Every dollar we get goes back into the program,” the non-profit’s director, Darrell Osburn, said at last year’s event.
Last year’s re-enactment was catered and food was available for anyone to buy. That might be the case again this year but those details hadn’t been sorted out by press time.