Shiloh National Military Park Announces Memorial Day Weekend Activities and Events
SHILOH, Tennessee – From Saturday, May 28, through Monday, May 30, Shiloh National Military Park will be offering a variety of special events to the public, including a concert in the park, artillery demonstrations, special exhibits, and ranger guided tours. The park will also host the annual Memorial Day service in the Shiloh National Cemetery.
“Memorial Day is a day for remembering the people who have died while serving in our country's armed forces,” said Superintendent Dale Wilkerson. “This day was originally known as Decoration Day, and began after the Civil War to commemorate the soldiers who died in the war.”
The planned activities will not only honor the Memorial Day holiday, but are part of Shiloh’s celebration of the National Park Service Centennial. “The National Park Service will celebrate its 100th birthday on August 25, 2016, but this is more than a one day celebration,” stated Superintendent Dale Wilkerson. “We will be hosting several signature events throughout the year to celebrate America's Best Idea: National Parks. We invite everyone to come out and enjoy the many activities offered by the Park.”
The following events and activities will be presented:
• On Saturday, May 28, Shiloh National Military Park will present its first Centennial Concert-in-the-Park. This five-concert series will celebrate the various genres of music that encompass the American catalog, with one concert per month from May through September. The May 28 concert is a free twilight concert on the lawn in front of the park Visitor Center, and will feature Civil War era music. The public is invited to bring lawn chairs, blankets, and picnic baskets to the concert.
o From 5:30pm – 6:30pm the Olde Towne Brass will perform, playing original Civil War Music on actual Civil War Over-The-Shoulder Brass Horns. With their special emphasis on the War Between the States, Olde Towne Brass presents programs that provide their listeners with history and information about the composer and the song. Their renditions of these timeless and compelling tunes are played just as they were more than 150 years ago, and their music library includes over 4000 songs of both the Confederate and Union Bands. They have worked with the renowned documentary director Ken Burns on some of his most recent productions, and they appeared in the Tennessee Civil War 150 Documentary "Civil War Songs and Stories."
o From 6:50pm – 8:00pm, renowned musician and multi-instrumentalist Bobby Horton will take the stage. A seasoned performer, Bobby Horton is a composer, producer, and music historian. He has performed with the musical-comedy trio Three On a String throughout the United States and Canada for 40 plus years. He has also produced and performed music scores for sixteen PBS films by Ken Burns - including “The Civil War”, and “Baseball,” two films for The A&E network, and twenty-one films for The National Park Service, including “Shiloh: Fiery Trial.” His series of recordings of authentic period music has been acclaimed by historical organization and publications through America and Europe
o CD’s from Bobby Horton and the Olde Towne Brass will be available for purchase in the Shiloh bookstore both before and during the concert.
o The park will also have a Junior Ranger booth set up for the kids on May 28. Children of all ages are invited to work on three different Junior Ranger booklets in order to earn three different Junior Ranger badges. One booklet focuses on the battle of Shiloh, one celebrates the Centennial of the National Park Service, and one commemorates the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
• On May 28 & 29 the park will offer cannon firing demonstrations across the street from the Visitor Center. The Shiloh cannon crew, wearing period uniforms, will demonstrate the duties of Civil War cannoneers, the implements and projectiles they used, and the proper loading and firing procedures of the 6-pounder field piece. In addition, Ranger led programs and tours will be offered on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. A daily schedule of programs will be available at the front desk of the Visitor Center each day. The programs are free and last about 30 minutes each.
• A “Wall of Honor” exhibit, featuring fallen soldiers and sailors from nearby communities, will be available to the public Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. On display will be images provided by local citizens, along with the stories of loved ones and ancestors who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country or have passed away. This exhibit will provide an opportunity to reflect on the personal sacrifices our nation’s military service personnel and their families have unselfishly made to protect our freedoms.
• On Monday, May 30, at 11:00am, Shiloh National Military Park will host its annual Memorial Day observance ceremony in the Shiloh National Cemetery. This time honored service, one of the oldest in West Tennessee, will include music, reflective readings, patriotic salutes, and the laying of a wreath on the grave of an unknown soldier.
o The key note speaker will be State Representative David Byrd, who serves in the Tennessee State House representing the 71st District of Tennessee. David spent over 33 years as a teacher, coach, and principal with the Wayne County School System, and was named the 2008–2009 A.F. Bridges Principal of the Year. Mr. Byrd served as Head Coach for the Wayne County Lady Cats Basketball team for 24 years, where he led his teams to 14 State Tournament appearances, winning 2 State Championships. In 2002, he was inducted into the Freed-Hardeman University Sports Hall of Fame. In March, David received the Southwest Tennessee Development District Legislator of the Year award, and just this month received the Tennessee School Health Coalition Legislator of the Year award.
o Prior to the Service, the Savannah Dixieland Band will perform at 10:30am. The public is invited to arrive early and enjoy the patriotic music presented by local musicians.
For more information on Shiloh National Military Park’s events and the Centennial concert series, visit us on the web at www.nps.gov/shil, or call the visitor center at
(731) 689-5696. You can also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ShilohNMP, on Twitter at twitter.com/ShilohNPS, and on Instagram @ShilohNPS.