First-time visitors to reenactment events often have questions. We have answers. Come visit us; if you don’t see your question here, ask!
Q: What will I see at an NWTA event?
A: Our events are hosted at parks and other public places so that you can come and learn. We arrive on Fridays to set up the camp and displays you can see on Saturday and Sunday. Number of participants and schedules vary, but you can expect to see military camp life and 18th century weapons and tactics demonstrated (though not necessarily recreating a specific battle).
Depending on the event, you may also see artillery demonstrations, fashion shows, competitions, or audience-participation-friendly scenarios.
Q: Can I buy food or souvenirs? What about parking and restrooms?
A: Basic facilities like parking and restrooms are always available. Merchants depend on the event, and we encourage you to take a look at our Events to see if food will be available for purchase.
Q: Is that a real gun (or flag or uniform or gown)?
A: If by “real” you mean an original piece from the 18th century, no, probably not. However, it’s as close a working reproduction as we can create! Members of the NWTA make or purchase from specialty craftspeople all the clothing, tools, weapons, and other items you see at an event.
Each is researched not only for the period of the American Revolution, but for the specific unit or persona the person wearing or using it is portraying. And yes, you can probably take a closer look or even touch some items—just ask the owner!
Q: What’s your character? Are you portraying one of your ancestors?
A: Most NWTA members don’t have a specific “character,” and we’re not a hereditary organization, like the SAR and DAR—our members may or may not have had ancestors who fought during the American Revolution. However, we do portray the “ordinary” people of the time period and are happy to talk with you about their lives.
Q: Are you professional historians/actors/teachers/circus performers?
A: Nope! Very few of us have careers that relate to our passion for history and education. There are engineers, funeral directors, truckers, and just about every profession you can think of filling the ranks. We are, however, trained in any black powder weapons we’re handling.
Q: What about kids?
A: You’ll see plenty of children in camp. For one, 18th century armies traveled with camp followers—soldiers’ wives—and their children. For another, the NWTA is family-friendly organization that encourages the whole family to come out and play—and learn. You’ll see multiple generations reenacting together. And we’re sure that your kids will enjoy and learn from the experience of attending an event.
Q: Does that mean anyone can reenact?