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Rockford to host World War II re-enactment weekend

Rockford, IL. – World War II Days, a re-enactment including elaborate and realistic battles complete with tanks, artillery, armored vehicles, and exciting pyrotechnic displays, will return to the Midway Village Museum's 148-acre campus Sept. 26-27. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Saturday the battle shows are featured at 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm. Sunday battle time is 2:30 pm.


Midway Village Museum is located minutes from I-90 at 6799 Guilford Road, approximately 1/4 mile east from Guilford and Perryville Roads. The event is rain or shine.

This is one of the largest World War II era re-enactments in the United States with more than 1,200 uniformed re-enactors from 40 states representing soldiers from the United States, Great Britain, France, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Japan, Italy and Germany along with 70 to 80 vintage tanks, halftracks and other 1940s era military vehicles.In addition to the action on the battlefields, there will be skirmishes in the village and woods, demonstrations and displays in the buildings and woods encampments.

New this year on both days is “Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear,” which will theatrically re-create old time radio shows to bring visitors with a 1940s star-studded parade of music, comedy and heartfelt sentiment and support for the boys “over there.” Other features include:

  • Elaborate 1940s displays in historical buildings on the museum property acting as the backdrop of a European village during World War II
  • Encampments of Allied and Axis troops in the Midway Village woods and realistic skirmishes integrated in the historic village
  • Soldiers’ base camps filled with period vehicles, tents and artifacts
  • World War II memorabilia from numerous vendors
  • Food and refreshments from five local restaurants available for purchase
  • Patton and His Third Army living historians group portraying Gen. Patton, Gen. Eisenhower, and Gen. Bradley, with special command post talks throughout the day.
  • A 1940s era USO-style swing dance at 7 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $7. Registered re-enactors and vendors are free with a wristband. The dance is held at the Indoor Sports Center, 8800 E. Riverside Boulevard, Loves Park., IL.

The Behind The Lines tour will take place again on Friday evening from 5:30 pm until 7:30 p.m. Tour guides will take visitors through the village to get an up-close look at what is in store for the weekend. Space is limited. Tickets are $15 per person. Make reservations for the tour by contacting 815-397-9112.

General Admission to World War II Days is $14 adults; $7 for children (3 to 17); Midway Village Museum Members are Free. The two-day pass is discontinued and no longer available for this event. Tickets available in advance online and in the Museum Gift Shop. Tickets are also available for purchase at the gates on the event days. Online tickets sales end Tuesday, Sept. 22. Parking is free.

Shuttles run from the parking lots and within the event to accommodate visitors needing assistance. Shuttles are available for visitors to use as a transport system during the event. No personal golf carts allowed. Event shuttles include a wagon ride to and from the parking lots and battlefield and several passenger golf carts in the historical village.

Educators may visit the event as a school program with students on Friday before the public event. The program is interactive with stations for hands-on learning including a narration by a World War II veteran about his personal experience in the Battle of Iwo Jima.Other learning stations include: German camps displays, Allied camps displays, Home Front activities, tank and vehicle displays, behind the lines operations and training camp. Educators may download the World War II Days School Program registration form at www.midwayvillge.comunder the events calendar tab. For questions, call Kristen Hoeker, Special Events Coordinator at 815-397-9112, ext. 104.

For a complete schedule of activities for both days, visit
or call 815-397-9112.

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