Perryville celebrates 156th battle anniversary with three-day festival

Published 6:31 am Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The City of Perryville will be commemorating the 156th anniversary of the Battle of Perryville with a festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

New this year will be a “Sweets Auction” on the steps of the newly renovated Johnson Britton House, located at 310 S. Buell St. Homemade cakes, pies and cookies will be auctioned off to the highest bidders, said Main Street Perryville Executive Director Vicki Goode. The goodies will be baked by residents of Perryville and Boyle County; money made from the auction will go to benefit Main Street Perryville, which is sponsoring the three-day festival.

Friday night festivities include Miss Teen and Miss Perryville pageants, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. on the main stage set up on Second Street. From 8 to 11 p.m., there will be a street dance featuring music by Tyler Isaacs.

Email newsletter signup

The festival opens on Saturday at 9 a.m. with food vendors, arts and crafts booths and a kids corner where children can play.

The parade starts at 10 a.m. with Don Collier as its grand marshall. Collier is an actor known for his role in television westerns during the 1960s. He also played U.S. Marshal Will Foreman in the 1960-62 NBC series “Outlaws.” Following the parade Collier will sign autographs and talk to the public about his Hollywood career.

At 11 a.m. Main Street Perryville will have a ribbon cutting ceremony for The Johnson Britton House, where the organization has new office space. At 11:30 a.m., the Sweets Auction will take place on the front steps.

Also at 11:30 a.m. children’s pageants will be held for children from ages infant to 10 years old. Registration is 10:30-11 a.m.

The Karrick Parks House opens at noon to the public for a social gathering with hosts and hostesses in period costumes serving tea and cookies, Goode said.

Then at 1 p.m., Civil War re-enactors will take over Merchants Row and portray a street fighting scene for festival-goers to watch. Goode said about 50 to 60 re-enactors may participate.

At 2 p.m., re-enactors will demonstrate on how to make Johnny cakes and bread and bake them over an open fire.

A free exhibit of antique and reproduction Civil War-era quilts will be open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday at the Perryville Jamboree, 103 N. Bragg St. Quilters will also be demonstrating quilting techniques and exhibiting antique sewing machines.

Another street dance will be held Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m.

On Sunday, the festival opens back up at 9 a.m. Gospel music will be performed by several local churches at the main stage at 1 p.m. Goode said the concert is free, but donations will be taken up to be divided evenly between between the Earl and Gay Ramey family, Kyle and Carribeth Griffins family and Haley Stratton family, all who have recently suffered losses from fires.

At 2 p.m., more street fighting will take place on Merchants Row with Civil War re-enactors, Goode said. And the festival ends at 4 p.m.

Also, just down the road, Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site will be having its own commemoration of the battle on Saturday and Sunday. There will be living history camps, military demonstrations and School of the Soldier, where the public can “enlist” in either the Union or Confederate armies and learn what it was like to be a soldier in the Civil War.

This year, Perryville Battlefield’s commemoration will be very interactive with the public said Joni House, Perryville Battlefield manager.

Goode said the battle, which took place on Oct. 8, 1862, was all around the countryside surrounding Perryville and in the town itself.

She said she hopes everyone “goes back and forth” from the battlefield to town so they can “enjoy our activities.”

The weather looks like it’s going to be terrific for the three-day event, Goode said.