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Plans Revealed for Battle of Helena Observance

Delta Cultural Center - Friday, February 20, 2015

HELENA-WEST HELENA, AR - The 152nd observance of the Battle of Helena will be held the weekend of March 13-15. Both Union and Confederate camps will be set up in, and around, Fort Curtis. Special events will take place during the weekend, with the main event happening on Saturday afternoon. All events are free and open to the public.

Registration is required for all reenactment participants. Reenactors can register at the Arkansas Welcome Center beginning on Friday, March 13, from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. After 7:00 p.m., registration will be on-site at Fort Curtis. The historic Moore Hornor House will be open for tours from 1:00 – 7:00 p.m., and the general public can visit the campsites from noon until sunset.

A variety of activities will take place on Saturday, March 14. Registration will continue on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Arkansas Welcome Center. From 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. spectators and reenactors can visit the Helena Museum to see a Trans-Mississippi Civil War exhibit and enjoy a book fair. The Moore Hornor House will also be open during this time for tours.

Living historian Dr. Curt Fields will be on hand portraying General U.S. Grant. The Delta Cultural Center’s Delta Drop-in program will feature Dr. Fields in a session called, “Q & A with General U.S. Grant,” from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday at the DCC’s Visitors Center. Visitors can also interact with Dr. Fields at the Helena Museum from 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. In addition, the 30th annual Patrick Cleburne memorial service will be held from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. at Helena’s Confederate Cemetery.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 2:30 p.m. at Fort Curtis. Arkansas Civil War historians will provide spectators with a historical perspective of the battle with ongoing commentary. The final assault on the fort, complete with charging Confederate soldiers and Union cannon fire, will take place at approximately 3:30 p.m.

A special Warfield Concert is planned for Saturday evening. Instrumentalist, composer, and music historian Bobby Horton will perform at 7:30 p.m. inside Fort Curtis. This concert is open to the general public, and concert-goers are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs to this free performance. Locals may recall the talented Horton as part of the group, “Three on a String.”

Activity will abound in downtown Helena on Sunday morning! The Delta Cultural Center’s Visitors Center, the Helena Museum and several of the downtown merchants will be open from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Main Street Helena is sponsoring a free shuttle for reenactors and spectators to help them get around to museums, historic sites, shops and parking. Shuttles will run on Friday from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Gallery hours at the DCC Visitors Center at 141 Cherry Street and the nearby DCC Depot at 95 Missouri Street are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. “King Biscuit Time,” the nation’s longest-running blues radio program, is hosted each weekday at the DCC Visitor’s Center by “Sunshine” Sonny Payne, from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. “Delta Sounds,” hosted by DCC Assistant Director Thomas Jacques and Payne, is broadcast each Friday from 1 to 1:30 p.m.

For more information, interested persons can call the Delta Cultural Center at (870)-338-4350 or toll free at (800)-358-0972 or visit the DCC online at www.deltaculturalcenter.com.

The Delta Cultural Center shares the vision of all seven agencies of the Department of Arkansas Heritage – to preserve and promote Arkansas heritage as a source of pride and satisfaction. Other agencies within the department are the Historic Arkansas Museum, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, the Arkansas Arts Council and the Natural Heritage Commission.