Calendar of Events 2023
Jun 16-17
Black Creek Pioneer Village
Jul 1
Bath Canada Day
Jul 21-22
Fort Ontario, NY

News - Loyalist Days Return to Prescott

Worst picture ever.
Loyalist Days returned to Prescott, Ontario for the first time in 15 years. After a decade-and-a-half hiatus, the King's Royal Yorkers and other Crown Forces units (including the Loyalist Fifes & Drums) returned to the historic city on the St. Lawrence.

The Fifes & Drums arrived while it still light out and true to the rest of the season, the wet weather made an appearance. Rain came down while the corps was at the pub, er restaurant for supper. On their way back to camp they reflected on the incredible meal and talked of whether the beverages they consumed were supposed to have a slushy look. Regardless, the local-brewed brown juice was wonderfully tasty.

Mosquitos and ants kept most members from sleeping, making the entirety of Saturday an interesting challenge. Almost a week later the author is still scratching at the various bites. His mother would likely repeatedly ask him to stop. It wouldn't work.

Saturday's first major formation was a parade, marching nearly a kilometre out and then back with the assorted soldiers, pipers and drummers and fire truck that are required to make a parade of any description. The parade was the perfect length, with the corps playing constantly and never having to repeat a piece of music.

The day continued with a battle, where one poor lonely drummer was separated from his corps. This is quite possibly because he was a bugler. He accompanied the loyal refugees and King's Rangers onto the field as they marched next to the fort. Over the hill were rebel forces that ambushed the convoy - naturally the Rangers returned fire and the refugees made their way back toward the entrance of the fort. Due to the heroic bugling of that one drummer, the reinforcements were called in and the rebels were not-so-outmatched. Unfortunately the enemy forces pushed the Rangers and reinforcements back toward the entrance to the fort.

There was a brief stint at the pub with some of the King's Royal Yorkers officers, much wonderful food and some fine ale (for all those of age). Much merriment (and salt shaker balancing) was had by all - except the latter, which was mostly had by Lt. Moreau. Bills were split accordingly.

Much later that night, as a few of the drummers were dreading the anty-mosquito-sleep they had ahead of them, Peter at the marina gave some insight into the weather that was headed toward Prescott: 0.5 to 2.0 inches of hail. It would hit about 1am, and it would hit hard. We all went back to camp and warned reenactors of the coming apocalypse. Come to think of it, there were four of us issuing these warnings........

Many people packed gear, stacked stools and chairs, put away glassware and moved their muskets off the ground. An emergency plan on the part of LFD was enacted and three members set out immediately for the local convenience store. You can't have a storm without junk food.

An hour later (and an extra kilometre of walking) the drummers returned from their all-important mission. The three major junkfood groups were covered: chocolate, gummies and ketchup chips.

Unfortunately for those awaiting the apocalypse, the storm changed directions and headed north. The skies were clear all day, but in hindsight it meant there was less ice on the field for morning parade.

Sunday's events were similar to Saturday's - the music did another demonstration of the functions of the fifes & drums in the 18th century, and the battle involved a similar scenario to Saturday's.

Fortunately for the aforementioned bugler, and unfortunately for returning Yorker Charles Baker (who portrayed a rebel during this battle), a section of Duncan's company unleashed a volley on Pte Baker and he fell to the ground in a stunning display of pain... and entertainment. Only drummers can ham it up like Pte Baker did. After his first death, Cpl Lindsey (the bugler) saw some signs of life and saw that he needed to take action to remedy this situation. He drew his sword and finished the job. He then proceeded to rummage through the corpse's haversack for anything of value.

One thing happened that in 22 years of reenacting, this reenactor has never experienced. We were allowed by Parks Canada to fire out of the rifle loopholes that point out into the area between the fort walls and the palisades. The musketmen fired, and when instead of hearing thundering volleys in the stone room we only heard the muffled ftttph! of the powder in the pan igniting, we were all surprised and impressed. That experience was truly incredible.

This capped off a great weekend - there were other things worth briefly mentioning.... pistachio shell fights. Okay, that's the only one that sticks in the author's mind.

Prescott. Loyalist Days. It's back, and that's just fantastic!