BAGDAD — The UWF Historic Trust has received approval from the Santa Rosa County Commission to use the Bagdad Mill Site Park as the site of the 1781 Siege of Pensacola reenactment.
UWF has requested the days of April 2-5, 2020, to have the event with April 3 and 4 being the battle reenactment days.
The siege of Pensacola has been reenacted many times in Pensacola and been celebrated as Bernardo de Galvez Day, named for the governor of Spanish Louisiana at that time. Galvez led Spanish troops in the battle to defeat the British and took control of Pensacola, considered at the time as the capitol of West Florida.
"This is the first time I have coordinated an event this large," said Philip Mayhair, living history coordinator with the UWF Historic Trust.
Mayhair oversees the living history programming for Historic Pensacola Village, working with staff and volunteer "living history" reenactors who interpret life in Pensacola from the past 450 years.
Mayhair scouted several sites for the event and decided on Bagdad Mill Site Park for its size. There are 16.84 acres at the park, including parking lots.
Mayhair said this would be the best place for the reenactment as the battlefield will be all grass and trees. There will also be enough area to provide camping for participants.
Many of the plans are still being developed and more details will come out as the event gets closer.
"We will have recreations of how people lived in that time, what they ate, how they fought and how they survived," Mayhair said.
Mayhair requested and was approved to have participants camp on site and made arrangements with county officials for campfires that have also been approved.
"I anticipate we will have over 300 people attend each day," Mayhair said.
He has received replies and requests from reenactment groups located around the country. If you or your group is interested in participating, go to HistoricPensacola.org for more information.
For more information on the siege itself, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Pensacola.