VNMP candlelight tour alluring, site chief says

Published 10:46 am Monday, April 14, 2014

Vicksburg National Military Park Ranger Nikki Anderson speaks to visitors during the Shadow of the Past Tour Saturday at the military park.

Vicksburg National Military Park Ranger Nikki Anderson speaks to visitors during the Shadow of the Past Tour Saturday at the military park.

The idea of touring the Vicksburg National Military Park after dark can be alluring, said Ray Hamel, site supervisor for the USS Cairo.

“The novelty of coming to the national park after hours is why this event is so popular among the people. It’s cool for them to see the luminaries and the cannons firing during that time of the day,” said Hamel.

Hamel and other tour leaders led about 100 people along the park tour road for a step back in history for the Shadows of the Past candlelight walk. The annual one-hour tour included park rangers and volunteers who did first person interpretations of those who are a part of Vicksburg’s history. The interpreters gave a five-minute introduction of the historical figure being portrayed in hopes of educating those participating in the tour.

Vicksburg resident and former Vicksburg High School teacher Carrol Campbell thought the walk was a way for residents to show their appreciation to the historic site.

“This is wonderful. It is great for the community to have this opportunity to see the park because this is our bread and butter. This is a huge deal and all of us should support it,” Campbell said.

Amy Clark and her 8-year-old grandson Kendall Clark enjoyed their experience at the park. Amy thought that this was necessary for children as well as adults.

“This is very educational. It’s a neat way to get him and adults to listen to history,” said Amy.

“I loved it,” said Kendall.

Brandon and Amber Davis, who also brought their kids along for the tour, echoed what Amy said about the walk being educational.

“This is very valuable to our community. This is so educational and hopefully our kids will be excited about coming back one day and learning more about the park and its history,” said Brandon.

“We’re so glad that our children are excited about this,” said Amber.

Seattle natives George and Sherry Brennin were glad to have stopped here on Friday during their tour of the South. The first-time visitors to Mississippi said that they had to stop and tour the park.

 

Pat Strange, dressed as Union soldier Albert Cashier, talks to a group of visitors at the base of the Illinois Memorial on a candlelight tour at the Vicksburg National Military Park on Saturday.

Pat Strange, dressed as Union soldier Albert Cashier, talks to a group of visitors at the base of the Illinois Memorial on a candlelight tour at the Vicksburg National Military Park on Saturday.

“This was incredible. It was an awesome experience and we plan on coming back,” said George.

“It was fabulous. We are so lucky to have been here this weekend to experience this,” said Sherry.