Hardin Chamber of Commerce "Custer's Last Stand" cancelled Nov 18, 2014 16:45:33 GMT -5 keogh likes this
Post by Mark on Nov 18, 2014 16:45:33 GMT -5
NEWS: The Hardin Chamber of Commerce sponsored reenactment known and the "Custer's Last Stand" event is cancelled for 2015. The "Battle of the Little Bighorn" reenactment at Medicine Tail Coulee, held on the actual battlefield and often referred to as the "Realbird Reenactment" is still ON for 2015 with no changes. The following story ran recently in the Billings Gazette:
Hardin Reenactment Cancelled for 2015---
When Rick Williams and his fellow re-enactors heard about the cancellation of 2015’s Custer’s Last Stand re-enactment during Hardin’s Little Big Horn Days, they were surprised. “Nobody saw it coming,” he said.
The parade, live music, street dancing and other activities will continue during the 2015 Little Big Horn Days that is scheduled to take place June 25 through the 28, said Shirley Margheim, the president of the Hardin Area Chamber of Commerce. If everything goes according to plan, the re-enactment will be back in 2016. Custer’s Last Stand will be replaced by a two-day rodeo put on by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association and held at the Big Horn County Fairgrounds. The event was canceled after several years of low turnout put the festival in the red, Margheim said. “We’re trying to recuperate from a couple years ago.” In 2012 and 2013, the chamber took out loans to finance the re-enactment but were not able to pay them back. They still owed money even after 2014’s re-enactment was in the black.
Margheim would not comment on how much the chamber owes or how much the 2014 festival made. “We came out with, not a whole lot, but enough to say we made money and start paying off the loans,” she said. Little Bighorn Days is the biggest fundraiser for the the chamber, and they plan to revive the re-enactment in 2016, with the money ready before the event. “We don’t want this to be a very negative thing,” she said. “Our local people pretty much understand what’s going on, and we pretty much need to get funds ahead of time.” Williams has played Lt. Col. Custer in the annual event for the last eight years.
He was disappointed by the cancellation, but understands why the chamber couldn’t afford accommodating and feeding the 100-plus re-enactors. A large re-enactment can get pricey quickly even if there’s not much compensation available for the re-enactors, Williams said. “You have to support an army for a few days.” Williams, who is retired, portrays the U.S. Army officer in more than 20 events each year in the Midwest near his and Custer’s home state of Ohio, but the Hardin event is his biggest.
“You could call it my flagship event,” he said. “It’s my Super Bowl for the year.” The event also holds significance with Williams and his future wife. “I proposed to my fiancee in front of the crowd during a show,” he said. “We were planning on doing a ceremony out there.” The two will settle for tying the knot in Ohio in 2015. But, he is confident that in 2016 he will once-again take the reins during Little Big Horn Days as Lt. Col. George Custer. “I’m not worried that they’re not going to come back,” he said. “They definitely are going to come back.”
Read more: billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/little-bighorn-days-will-not-have-custer-s-last-stand/article_942df6f8-25b5-5ae9-ae07-0d2d65a10bed.html#ixzz3JSV7UdvU