Bonaparte Main Street, Inc. will host their annual Taste of History on Saturday, June 8, 2013, at the Whiteley Opera House in downtown Bonaparte, Iowa. The annual three course dinner theater starts at 6:00 pm. Tickets are $20 and there is limited seating so reservations are required by calling 319-592-3400.
This unique adaptation of a cemetery tour combines the comfort of indoor seating with a meal and entertainment. Locals present living history in the first person in costume and character relating their individual tales between each course over the evening.
Guests sit at tables designed and set by area women reflecting the era, story, or character while the actors serve as waiters. This year the stories and tables will reflect the 1860’s as the community recognizes the sesquicentennial of the Civil War with their third Civil War Experience.
Music enhances the event and is used as an introduction to each character. This year’s music is being coordinated by Franny Troutman and Ken Burns and performed by Franny Troutman.
Characters will be portrayed by Sam Wenke, Mary Witting, Allison Meek, Rick Spencer, Karen Ruppert, Taylor Pierce, Rick Alexander, Twyla Peacock, and Gianna Barrow.
In conjunction with the Taste of History, A Civil War Experience will be held throughout downtown Bonaparte on Saturday, June 8 from 10 am until 5 pm. Established to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, the focus is to educate and enlighten families on the era and recognize those that served.
Bonaparte Main Street will sponsor a horse drawn wagon to provide transportation around Bonaparte and through the Bonaparte Cemetery and Krabill’s Kritters petting zoo in Bonaparte’s Historic Riverfront Park. Re-enactors will be camped along the river to offer an insight to conditions and weapons while Nauvoo on the Road will have demonstrations and games.
In the Bonaparte Cemetery the Bonaparte American Legion will display the Avenue of Flags and will mark the graves of Civil War veterans with 34 star flags. A handout sponsored by the Van Buren County Commission on Veterans’ Affairs will be available listing the names of all the Civil War veterans buried in the cemetery.
The Bonaparte Historical Society will have their museum open to the public with displays, artifacts, and photographs of Civil War era Bonaparte from 9 am until noon.
Twenty-four inch vintage bride dolls dressed in 1860’s costume will be on display in Waterfront Place. Designed and dressed by women from all around southeast Iowa, visitors have the opportunity to vote by quarters for their favorites in the week leading up to and during the event. The doll winning the most quarters at the end of the weekend will be returned to the designer while the other dolls will be sold at silent auction during Bonaparte’s Autumn Fest on Saturday and Sunday, October 12 & 13, in the Bonaparte Opera House.
The Bonaparte Pottery will be open for tours of this unique pottery barn at 11:00 am, 1:00 and 3:00 pm and demonstrate how pottery was made from 1875 molds. They will also have wine tasting.
A Whiskers Growing Contest will be held at 1:00 pm with prizes given to: best longest, well groomed; best Civil War goatee with or without mustache; best Civil War lamb chops, mutton chops; best shaggy, badly groomed beard and mustache; and longest well groomed handle bar mustache. There is no cost to enter and no age limit, but Civil War era authenticity is preferred.
For more information or to make reservations contact the Bonaparte Main Street office at 319-592-3400. Bonaparte Main Street is a non-profit organization. This event is endorsed by the Iowa Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee of the Iowa State Historical Society.