Key players gathered Monday to discuss plans for the reenactment and 26th annual Heritage Festival, which will make for a packed Labor Day weekend.
Last year’s reenactment, the first held in some time, drew crowds big enough that all of the planned parking ran out.
“We had over 20,000 visit the city of Iuka that weekend,” said Iuka Battlefield Commission Chairman Harold Lomenick.
Events such as a Grand Illumination, living histories, home tour and grand ball will fill the weekend.
“There will be lots of things to do,” said Lomenick. “You won’t be bored.”
The Heritage Festival on Saturday, Aug. 31, will feature arts and crafts vendors and music at the Mineral Springs Park.
“We’ve got lots of vendors already signed up,” said Martha Biggs, one of the organizers. “It is going to be bigger than last year.”
On Friday, Aug. 30, hundreds of school children will visit the reenactment site to view living histories. Beginning about 6:30 p.m., Jaybird Park and the road to Twin Magnolias will be lined with luminaries for the Grand Illumination honoring the memories of the 2,000 troops killed in two hours during the Battle of Iuka. Living history actors portraying President Abraham Lincoln, CSA President Jefferson Davis and U.S. General Ulysses S. Grant will arrive by horse-drawn carriage. Lost Cause will play period music.
Living history activities continue on Saturday, which will include Promenade through the Park — a stroll to presentations at the Painted Lady, Dunrobin/Brinkley Home and Stone-Cutshall home.
“There’s going to be a lot going on with these historic houses,” said Jan Anglin, an organizer. “We are really fortunate that a lot of these house have been saved.”
Saturday night brings the grand ball at Dr. Ben Kitchen’s barn from 7 to 9 p.m. Period dress is encouraged but not required.
Lomenick said more than 600 joined in the dance last year.
More than 400 reenactors are expected on Sunday for the battle, compared to 163 last year.
It starts at 1:15 p.m. on North Pearl Street just north of Iuka.
On the web: iukafestival.com and battleofiuka.com