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13th annual Encampment July 31 at English Camp; Candlelight Ball at 8 p.m.

Re-enactors from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada will once again celebrate peace as they gather for the 13th Annual Encampment, July 31 -- Saturday -- on the English Camp parade ground.   - San Juan Island National Historical Park
Re-enactors from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada will once again celebrate peace as they gather for the 13th Annual Encampment, July 31 -- Saturday -- on the English Camp parade ground.
— image credit: San Juan Island National Historical Park

Re-enactors from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada will once again celebrate peace as they gather for the 13th annual Encampment, July 31 -- Saturday -- on the English Camp parade ground.

The event is free except where noted. Disabled persons should call the park at 378-2240, ext. 2228/2229 or 378-4409 for special access information.

The highlight of this year’s event will be the Candlelight Ball, scheduled at 8 p.m., in the English Camp barracks. The public is invited to join in the dancing and refreshments that include the traditional cake and punch. Music for contra dancing will be provided by the Pig War Band, led by Michael Cohen.

Other activities include recreations of mid-19th century Royal Marine Light Infantry and U.S. Army camp life, demonstrations of music, blacksmithing, spinning and weaving, sewing and cooperage and carpentry, along with the pageantry of period uniforms in scarlet and blue.

Encampment 2010 commemorates the peaceful joint occupation of San Juan Island by British and American forces from 1859 to 1872, and final settlement of the Northwest Boundary dispute. Throughout the joint occupation the garrisons exchanged visits to celebrate holidays that included Christmas, the Fourth of July and Queen Victoria’s birthday. Typically the men would participate in athletic contests, imbibe in spirits and other refreshments and usually host a dance to which the community was invited.

The Encampment tradition was renewed in 1998 on the occasion of the dedication of English Camp’s 80-foot flagpole, a gift to the park by the people of the United Kingdom. The event drew nearly 600 people to the parade ground, including distinguished guests and officials from both nations.

For more information about Encampment 2010, visit the National Park website .

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