World War I Days this weekend in Orange

Staff Writer
Published: 9/7/2018 9:42:19 AM

ORANGE — In honor of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the Massachusetts Military History Exposition is set to host its first-ever World War I Days event Saturday and Sunday in Orange.

“This will be one of the largest gatherings of World War I re-enactors, pretty much in the Northeast — it is quite a special event,” said organizer Dan Eaton.

Eaton, along with his wife Missi, started the Massachusetts Military History Expo three years ago to showcase the community’s rich military history.

In May, the organization held its flagship three-day event showcasing various equipment, live demonstrations and battle re-enactments.

This year, Eaton said he wanted to do something special to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.

Around 85 re-enactors are set to travel from all over New England, New York and as far as Pennsylvania to partake in recreating scenes from the war. Eaton said the re-enactors will represent the Allied and Central Powers from countries such as the United States, France, Germany and England.

Various artifacts and military equipment will be on display, including a mobile rolling field kitchen.

“It is basically a stove on wheels,” said Eaton. “That is how they fed the troops back then.”

A live demonstration portraying the field hospitals used during the war, along with civilian displays of daily life during the war years both in the United States and Europe, will be on display for visitors to see, as well, said Eaton.

Food and military vendors will be at the event. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6 to 16, and $10 for veterans and seniors. All World War II or Korean War veterans can attend for free, said Eaton.

Moving forward, Eaton said he hopes the Military History Expo can continue building local relationships with veterans involved with the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and the American Legion to maintain pieces of equipment used in past wars.

“Our volunteers would be able to repair and maintain (equipment) in order to use it for educational presentations — like a tank or an artillery piece,” said Eaton. “We could get it in operation, and it would be their display piece, but we would use it for shows.”

That would include events similar to the expo held in May, World War I Days and local parades, he said.


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