World War II Days, a re-enactment including elaborate and realistic battles complete with tanks, artillery, armored vehicles, and exciting pyrotechnic displays, takes place on the Midway Village Museum 148-acre campus from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday at Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road. Saturday the battle shows are featured at 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm. Sunday the battle time is 2:30 pm. This event will go on rain or shine.
This is one of the largest World War II era re-enactments in the United States with over 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, half-tracks 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, as well as woods encampments.
New this year on both days Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear will theatrically recreate old time radio shows to bring visitors the best of the series all combined into an exciting 1940s star-studded parade of music, comedy and heartfelt sentiment and support for the boys “over there.”
The event will feature 1940s displays in historic buildings on the museum property, encampments of Allied and Axis troops in the woods and realistic skirmishes integrated in the village, soldiers’ base camps filled with vehicles, tents and artifacts, vendors with World War II memorabilia, food and refreshments available for purchase by local restaurants, living historians providing command post talks throughout the day, and a 1940s era USO-style swing dance on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Public admission to the USO dance is $7 per person, registered re-enactors and vendors are free with a wristband. Admission for the dance is paid at the door and there will be no advance sales. The dance will be held at the Indoor Sports Center, 8800 E. Riverside Blvd., in Loves Park.
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 you 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 and reservations for the tour can be made by contacting 815-397-9112.
General admission to World War II Days is $14 for adults; $7 for children age 3 to 17 and Midway Village Museum members are free. Tickets are available in advance in the Museum Gift Shop and are also available for purchase at the gates on the event days.
There is free parking for the event and plenty of handicap parking is available. There are also roving multi-person golf carts dedicated to shuttling visitors who need assistance.
There will be 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. Please, do not bring personal golf carts. Event shuttles include a wagon ride to and from the parking lots and battlefield and several passenger golf carts in the historical village.
For a complete schedule of activities for both days, visit midwayvillage.com or call 815-397-9112.