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Families and festival equal fun

Ashley McKnight-Taylor

Prentis Street was sprinkled with people Saturday afternoon, many of them families who came to check out the Civil War Weekend activities.

“I love the Civil War,” declared Daniel Bukovinsky, an 11-year-old fifth grader at Southwestern Elementary School.

He is learning about the war in school, and his teacher said students would get class credit if they made it to the event. It didn’t take much for him to get his parents, Joe and Kelley, and younger brother, Brian, to stop by.

“We always talk about history,” Joe said, adding that he has a love for it and has passed that on to his sons.

Kelley said the family have visited a number of places throughout Hampton Roads.

For Daniel, the coolest part of the afternoon was seeing the rifles, and he even had a plastic one of his own they bought from one of the vendors. Brian liked checking out the uniformed soldiers.

As is the norm with young ones, two of Jennifer Schmack’s children were amused by the seemingly less significant offerings of Civil War Weekend.

Cheyenne, 7, got a kick out of seeing the horse and carriage, taking people through Oaklawn Cemetery. Ryan, 5, was enthusiastic about the smooth wooden top he got from the Tidewater Turners of Virginia. Goodies aside, Jennifer said the gathering was “pretty interesting.”

It was the family’s first trip to the event.

Jennifer and her husband participate in medieval re-enactments and decided to scout the vendors for items they might use in their work, she said. As medieval re-enactors, they understand the importance of history and how events such as Civil War Weekend help get children more involved in it.

Michael and Cathy Priest traveled a long way to get four of their five children more involved with history.

The family came all the way from Iowa just to visit Williamsburg, but heard about Civil War Weekend and decided to spend the day in Suffolk.

Cathy said her husband was the history buff who instigated the family trip to Virginia. She and her three daughters waited patiently while Michael and son got a lesson in muskets, rifles and other equipment from members of the Third Virginia Infantry.

“I love history of all sorts,” Michael said.

The family came to Virginia to learn Colonial history and even read Across Five Aprils, a novel about the Civil War by Irene Hunt, during the drive down. They were happy to have the chance to learn about the Civil War, said dad.

ashley.taylor@suffolknewsherald