Bushwhacking 2009 a huge success


Update: 2008 Bushwhacking featured on Kentucky Life on KET. Air dates: June 6 at 8pm and June 7 at 4:30pm.
They say the third time's a charm.  The third Bushwhacking on the Russell Fork drew more participants and onlookers yet!  Over 220 re-enactors, busses of students, and streets lined with the curious and the fanatical cemented this unique festival's place in the region's fastest growing, and most interesting, events.  Vendors were overwhelmed with business, many running out of food and supplies as early as Sunday morning.
Re-enactors began arriving early Thursday and by evening, the riverbank in town was half full of canvas tents. Friday brought bus loads of local students to tour the encampment and to learn about the day to day life of troops in the War Between the States. Abe Lincoln sightings were the norm throughout the weekend.
The Bushwhacking festival does not re-create a specific battle, but pays homage to the guerilla type activity that was standard in the area during that time. It wasn't unusual, history shows, for soldiers to fight for both sides at some point during the war.  In this area, one could never be sure which side someone might be on. And skirmishes between factions, between scouting parties, and between families were a day-to-day occurence.  The Bushwhacking festival jumps outside the bounds of historical re-enactment to become historical performance art.  The sides have a different battle both days, with different maneuvers and take-turn winners each day.
The Bushwhacking festival would not be possible without the hard work and generosity of many individuals, orgnizations, and businesses. Thanks to the many ECAHC volunteers (who seem to have ALMOST as much fun as the re-enactors), to the local merchants who allow use of buildings and parking lots, and to the many who donate money and supplies to make the festival possible. Without lots of planning, lots of sweat, and lots of generosity, the event would never happen.
Planning has already begun for Bushwhacking 2010. Whether you're a re-enactor or an onlooker, make arrangements now to be in Elkhorn City on Memorial Day weekend next year. It'll be even bigger!

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