My dad and I have wanted to visit this event for a few years – but either we forgot about it until it had recently passed on the calendar (I sometimes have a poor sense of time), or weather wasn’t cooperative. Last year it was my sister’s Masters graduation. But goodness gracious, nothing was keeping us away this year!
D-Day Conneaut is an annual reenacting event in Conneaut, Ohio – along Lake Erie and near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. Around 1,500 reenactors represent both sides of the war, and approximately 40,000 people visited this three-day event.
In the morning my dad and I caught The Battle for La Fiere, and we explored the various camps to see camp life. My dad is a gunsmith hobbyist, so he was always excited to talk guns with several folks. We also ran into someone I know from college (who I believe is the person who first informed me about the world of reenacting; he does WWII and Civil War), and it was nice to chat with him for a bit. Lots of walking, and we walked along Lake Erie (I’ve never been to what people typically think of when they hear “beach” [like Florida], but this shore was a beach and I’ll take it) before catching another little event, the Maquis Attack. The last and main event was the Normandy beach landing, which was beyond impressive with planes, tanks, watercraft, and all the soldier-reenactors on the field. Unfortunately I was sitting at the embarkation end of the coast, and trees were blocking my view of the combat and landing at the other end. I’m determined to stake out a better view next year!
Now that I’ve been to a few events like this, I’m still absolutely amazed by the reenactors. They know SO MUCH and their research and knowledge is clearly evident in their passion for sharing their information and the detail they put into everything. It would definitely be a fascinating hobby to enter, but I would probably feel overwhelmed with all the history and stuff to learn! I really ought to chat with some reenactors to learn how they entered this hobby.
I highly recommend this event if you’re interested in WWII history and reenacting events. The event is very well organized and is free to visit (they solely rely on donations, and donation buckets/people are all over the park to accept donations).
Click here to view the website, and take note of dates for the next few years. 🙂
I took a ton of photos (440) and whittled it down to this selection so that you can get a glimpse of what my dad and I experienced. All taken with my Nikon s9600. I had to really push my camera’s zoom for the beach landing, but it was decent.