Civil War Days
Reenactment & Living History Festival
May 19-20-21, 2017
A Proud Participant in & Sponsor of the 2011-2015 Iowa Civil War Sesquicentennial Celebration
“One of the top 10 coolest things to do in Iowa over Labor Day weekend” Des Moines Register 2005 & 2007 & 2015
“One of the ’10 Best Bets’ in south-central Iowa for summer fun” Des Moines Register 2007
A spotlighted Labor Day activity for Iowa families Des Moines Register 2011
>>> 2017 Civil War Days is REBORN <<<
We are grateful for every group and individual who helped make this event a success for 13 years AND NOW the event will come to life again.
Stay tuned for updates.
– Doug Jones, Event Enabler
Lamoni’s Civil War Days is the largest and best-known annual regional cultural event in southern Iowa and northern Missouri and it presents a period-authentic, hands-on experience of life during the American Civil War era, both military and civilian.
Located conveniently on Interstate I-35 precisely at the Iowa-Missouri border, this event is easily accessed from Des Moines, Kansas City, and Omaha. Our encampments, battlefield & event Town Square are nestled in a spacious lakeside setting in rural south central Iowa farm country 1 mile from Lamoni town center, 2 miles from both I-35 Iowa exit #4 & I-35 Missouri exit #114.
Civil War Days has three primary purposes: one, to respectfully acknowledge the sacrifices of our 19th century ancestors by bringing their stories back to life; two, to provide an unusually supportive venue to the Living Historian and Reenactor communities for demonstrating their hobby; and three, to reference our shared national & family narratives as a way of reminding us today that we are all connected, all one people.
Civil War Days attracts Living Historians and Reenactors from throughout the Midwest, primarily from Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska. These Hearty Souls conduct extensive research and portray both civilian and military impressions in order to provide the 21st Century public with a glimpse of our ancestors’ lives. They are the event.
Lamoni’s Civil War Days brings history alive, is Admission & Parking-Free, Family-Friendly,
and provides an experience that every member of your family will talk about for a long time.
And you are invited – and don’t forget to bring your water bottles, your cameras, your lawn chairs, and your sun screen.
<< 2017 Civil War Days Weekend Activities >>
Our 2017 Schedule has yet to be finalized: however, until it is, you may use the 2015 schedule (below & on other pages) as a model because our major activities generally take place at the same time every year.
EXCEPT FOR OUR SUNDAY BATTLE
We depart from our usual schedule and have the major Battles at 2 PM Saturday and at 11 AM Sunday.
NOTE: Not all activities listed in 2015 will occur in 2017.
This year Lamoni, Iowa’s Civil War Days Reenactment & Living History Festival is re-born.
After a one year absence, this event is re-building, revamping and returning in some fresh, new ways. 2017 is the 14th year for the event and some of the visible changes are:
the event is being held in the Spring, May 19-20-21, 2017; for the first time modern food vendors are invited; to the benefit the region’s youth and our School Day Program, schools are teaching the Civil War at this time in their academic year.
What has not changed is the wide-open battlefield and camping areas.
We’re on the same 38+ acre site surrounded by farmland and trees. The sun still sets over Home Pond.
Also, and most importantly, the three elements in the event’s DNA have not changed: CWD is:
> by and for the living history community,
> by and for the Lamoni community,
> and always attempting to represent as well-rounded a picture of the mid-19th century as possible.
The event leadership is new but the community support for the event is long-lived. Funded entirely by donations, Civil War Days exists solely because of the kindness of strangers and the financial support of numerous community groups.
Lamoni and CWD living historians have a long-standing, positive relationship. The town has always welcomed the visiting reenactors and worked to make them feel at home. As a visiting spectator, you will find the same friendly reception all throughout the Lamoni downtown.
The event leadership is new, yes, but the event founder is still part of the team. As a living historian you may be assured of a venue that invites and supports you as you practice your hobby. We here intend to support you in your hobby. What you do is valuable and we are glad to showcase it for today’s public.
The event leadership is new and focused on improving and growing CWD. Just as the event did for its initial 13 years, CWD will continue to try new things every year while still making certain that everything we do, we do well. We intend to manage our growth so you can count on your entire family enjoying itself and wanting to return the next year.
Be sure to check back again for updated information.
Civil War Days is a different event each year and we will continue to add new activities right up until May 19, 2017 weekend.
Our list of performers and subject matter experts who give presentations changes from year to year to make certain the event remains fresh.
There are always unique activities in the event Town Square & battlefield that help bring the period alive, so be sure to look at a detailed weekend event schedule.
BLAST FROM THE PAST
2015 New & Newly Revitalized Activities
Amish Goods & Furniture
Period Games & Toys
Period Fashion Show
CW Hobbs Band at Period dance
Expanded Battle in downtown Lamoni
|Period Food Vendors||Artillery Night Fire||Period Church Service||A Special Memorial for Fallen Comrades|
|Period Dance featuring CW Hobbs Band||Period Games & Toys||Period Ladies’ Tea||Blacksmith|
|Artillery, Cavalry, Infantry, Medical Units||School Day Program||Period Tradespeople||Authentic & Rare Period Antiques|
|Surprise Period Event||Artillery Live-Fire Target Competition||Battle through Lamoni’s downtown business district||Period Fashion Show|
In 2010, Anteros Digital Productions, an independent film maker from the Kansas City area,
|PBS filmed cavalry at the 2008 Civil War Days event for its nationally televised series “Saddle Up! with Dennis Brouse”
Click below to view the footage shot in Lamoni, Iowa
|PBS returned to Civil War Days in 2009 to film new special “The History of the Horse”
click here for details
For 2014 we have yet to decide about having a campaigner event.
Please contact Doug Jones if you want to campaign on Friday night, August 29, 2014.
What is a “campaigner event”? It’s an opportunity to participate in unscripted, tactical action across the southern Iowa countryside and sleep under the stars.
We surprise our campaigners each year with unexpected challenges and invite cavalry and artillery units to participate.
click here for details
2007 Civil War Days photograph “Lamoni Lincoln” awarded Best Photo at 2008 Iowa State Fair
|In 2007 we raffled off a Hand-Quilted Wall Hanging – made in a popular 19th Century design – click here for the story|
Civil War Days charges no admission or parking fees – the event is absolutely free for the public. As a result, we exist solely on the voluntary donations of our supporters. Join us in the effort to keep history alive and make a tax-deductible donation of any size to Civil War Days.
Click here to make tax-deductible donations to Civil War Days
Our scenario is generic mid-war western theatre.
Civil War Days enjoys an unusually large battlefield and our battle scenarios are designed for and by the reenactors in attendance
and are intended to bring to life as many of the Civil War-era military practices as possible.
Basic military objectives will be outlined at Officers’ Call, and spontaneity and creativity are encouraged.
All period-authentic mainstream, campaign, and civilian impressions are welcome.
Our unique Event within the Event for Campaigners provides an immersion experience during a mainstream event.
We extend a particular invitation to those who portray period specialties such as blacksmith, preacher, surgeon, nurse, undertaker, etc.
Lamoni’s Civil War Days is by and for living historians.
Military Command Structure
Overall Federal Commander: Major Kevin ‘Kace’ Christensen
Overall Confederate Commander: Lt Colonel Sean Slocum
Event Provost: Lt Bob Tackett
Primary sponsors are the Optimist Club of Lamoni , the Lamoni Area Chamber of Commerce, the Lamoni Development Corporation,and the Lamoni Lions Club Over the years Lamoni’s Annual Civil War Days has been supported in part by grants
from Humanities Iowa and The National Endowment for the Humanities,
from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs,
and from the Central Iowa Tourism Region