The past comes to life at Naper Settlement this weekend when the annual Civil War Days returns.
More than 300 re-enactors portray the life and times of soldiers and civilians of the 1860s, as the encampment takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 17 and 18.
There is a battle each day at 2:30 p.m., in addition to infantry and artillery drills, first-person historical interpretations, period music, recruitment rallies and drills, a cooking show and living history demonstrations.
Several new presentations this year will focus on women’s roles during the war, said Donna DeFalco, marketing and sales representative with Naper Settlement.
That includes an Interview with the First Ladies, featuring Donna Daniels as Mary Todd Lincoln and Roberta Grenz as Varina Davis.
Did you know that Mary Todd Lincoln had a half-sister, Emilie Todd Helm, who was married to a Confederate general? That relationship will be explored in Divided. Valerie Gugala portrays Mary and Gina Payne portrays Emilie.
Another new act coming to Civil War Days is the Great American Medicine Show with Music, Magic and Mirth, featuring Professor B.T. Farquar, portrayed by Sanford Lee. He is assisted by his wife, Mary Kay Lee, who stars in the medicine show as Polecat Annie, a character Lee said is inspired by Annie Oakley.
“Another interesting presentation this year is going to be General Custer from the Union and General J.E.B. Stuart from the Confederate (talking) about the importance of the Cavalry in the Civil War,” she said. “The Cavalry men were extremely colorful.”
Andy Hare portrays Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and Tom Peacock portrays Gen. George Armstrong Custer. “The generals will talk about the pivotal battles of 1864 and how it really spelled the end for the Confederacy,” she said.
She’s very excited about a new Civil War Fashion Show, where the ladies of the day will model their beautiful clothes.
Naper Settlement’s Civil War Days typically draws between 4,000 and 5,000 visitors.
Taste of Glen Ellyn
Main St. Parking lot, 400 N. Main St., Glen Ellyn
The Taste of Glen Ellyn returns with live entertainment, craft show, business expo and carnival.
Craft show hours are noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. The entertainment is from 5-10:30 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.
The Business Expo runs from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.
The carnival hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Playing in the entertainment tent Friday are rock cover bands Local Favorite and Hi Infidelity.
Entertainment begins at noon Saturday and includes The Sunshine Dance Project Performance Team, Glenbard South Jazz One, Chicago School of Rock house band; plus cover bands Love House, Hillbilly Rockstarz and headliners 7th Heaven.
The McNulty Irish Dancers kick off Sunday’s entertainment. They are followed by Sam Savage and Company covering’ 50s, ’60s and ’70s soul and R&B; blues artists Ryan Mumby and the 100 Year Rain; and headliners Martini Lunch playing soul, blues, jazz and pop tunes.