Here are some great ways to see history come to life along Ohio's northern coast as celebrations leading up to the 200th anniversary celebration of Commodore Oliver Perry's great victory at the Battle of Lake Erie kick into high gear this Spring and Summer.
The battle on September 10, 1813 was one of the biggest naval battles of the War of 1812 and a turning point in the war for Americans.
Summer travelers can get a jump on the celebrations by checking out some of these events prior to the major bicentennial commemorations in September:
Battle re-enactments commemorate Americans who withstood sieges laid on the fort in 1813, defending American positions and helping pave the way for American forces gaining control of Lake Erie later that year. The event includes one of the first opportunities to view an exhibit full of rare and never-before-seen artifacts from the War of 1812 at the Fort Meigs museum.
The theme of this year's salute is "Honoring War of 1812 Casualties" and features music, games and speakers to kick off the season-long Bicentennial to the Battle of Lake Erie commemoration.
An 18-gun salute highlights Fort Meigs’ Independence Day celebration as re-enactors recreate 1813 celebrations with demonstrations, fife and drum music, and fun activities for kids.
A celebration starts with the swearing in of some of our country’s newest citizens and hundreds of new enlistees to the United States’ Armed Forces. A parade featuring the United States Army Band and re-enactment of the laying of the cornerstone of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial follows.
August 9-November 10
Toledo Museum of Art exhibit features paintings, prints, sculpture, artifacts, letters and music to tell the story of Commodore Perry’s victory in Lake Erie. Be sure to check out a special showing of the heroically scaled painting, Perry’s Victory on Lake Erie by Thomas Birch, that depicts a critical moment just before the surrender of the British ships.
Celebrate the 228th anniversary of Commodore Perry’s birth at the Perry Victory Visitor Center. Enjoy a tour with a costumed Perry interpreter and musket and cannon-firing demonstrations. Wear period garb and participate in Perry look-alike and trivia contests with prizes.
Photo courtesy of Perry Victory and International Peace Memorial, National Park Service, used with permission
Visit Fort Meigs and Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial sites for more War of 1812 events. The Discover Ohio, Lake Erie Shores & Islands, Ohio War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial sites are also great resources for event listings and learning about Ohio’s role in this important era of our country’s history.
I'll be back here later this summer with listings for the big Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial events scheduled for September.