‘Beach Boys’ tribute and Civil War soldiers at fair
By Desiree Laws Moore
The 10th annual Towne and Country Fair on the grounds of the Ross Plantation, Seaford, will feature an encampment by reenactors of the 9th and 10th Calvary and 24th and 25th Infantry regiments, commonly called Buffalo Soldiers. The reenactors, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., will portray scenes from the lives of the African-American soldiers who served in the regiments.
Buffalo Soldiers were recruited by the US Army after the Civil War and fought on the American frontier as well as in the Spanish-American War, in Mexico, Cuba and the Philippines and during World War I and World War II.
“The life of the Buffalo Soldiers was a mission of courage,” according to the group’s web site. “They fought their battles bravely and fiercely; despite the inferior supplies they were given. Their legacy is one of desire, dedication and discipline.”
The soldiers’ encampment will be set up on the plantation grounds Saturday, Aug. 30. The fair will get under way the day before, Friday, Aug. 29, at 5 p.m. with opening ceremonies led by the Seaford High School band, the Civil War-era band Un-Reconstructed and a color guard from the 2nd Maryland Infantry Co. G, Confederate States of America.
“The entire weekend will be fun for the whole family,” said Paula Gunson, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Seaford, which is sponsoring the fair. “The fact that we hold it on the plantation grounds adds to that hometown feeling.”
The Ross Plantation, owned and maintained by the Seaford Historical Society, is home to
the 19th-century Italianate Gov. Ross Mansion. In addition to the mansion, located on the grounds are a Honeymoon Cottage, original Ross slave quarters, a granary and assorted outbuildings.
Ross was governor of Delaware in the mid 19th century. He was a slave owner southern supporter who, family legend has it, fled the area hidden in an apple barrel when the Civil War broke out. He spent the war years in England.
The Towne and Country Fair focuses on demonstrations of life and culture during the Civil War years. In addition to the Buffalo Soldiers and the 2nd Maryland Infantry Co. G, reenactors from the 9th Virginia Calvary, Co. K, the 1st North Carolina Artillery and the 9th Salem Flying Artillery will participate in the fair. There will also be demonstrations of blacksmithing, broom making, basket making, wheat weaving and rope making.
A kettle corn and Victorian coffee stand will sell refreshments of the period. A display on the life of Harriet Tubman will be set up by the women of Star Hill Church and the Laurel Quilters will provide a display of quilts.
There will be wagon rides, hayrides, antique tractors, vintage cars and children’s games and activities. Musical groups will provide entertainment Friday evening and all day Saturday. There will also be jugglers, an African drum and dance company and square dancing.
Saturday activities will get under way with a prayer breakfast, starting at 8 a.m. Proceeds will benefit the Seaford Mission. A variety of food will be served throughout the fair, including barbecued chicken provided by the Seaford Volunteer Fire Department, sandwiches and seafood.
A Little Miss Towne and Country Fair pageant will be held at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on the mansion porch. A talent show will take place in the front-yard tent from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Saturday evening, Still Surfin’, a Beach Boys tribute band, will play at 7. At dusk, the fair will end with a display of fireworks.
A schedule of events is listed on the Chamber website at www.seafordchamber.com. For details, contact the chamber at 629-9690 or 800-416-GSCC.
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