Battles and boats: Bicentennial events

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COLUMBUS – Civil War history will come alive in September as 160 mounted Cavalry riders reenact Ohio’s Civil War battle, Morgan’s Raid.

And in October, the sounds of a paddle wheel churning water will welcome visitors to the romantic era of steamboats on the Ohio River.

Major Ohio Bicentennial fall events include:

* Morgan’s Raid Civil War Reenactment – Sept. 3-7 in Southern Ohio’s Vinton and Meigs counties (southeast of Marietta from Wilkesville to Chester to Bashan).

One of the largest gathering of cavalry re-enactors stages Ohio’s only Civil War battle on the sites where the battles actually took place.

Visitors can see the furious Battle of Buffington Island where Union forces and local militia stopped Confederate General John Hunt Morgan and his troops.

Other highlights include a Civil War Ball, horse-drawn cannons, school programs and children’s activities.

* Tall Stacks Music, Art and Heritage Festival – Oct. 15-19 in Cincinnati.

Seventeen riverboats from across the country will offer riverboat cruises, races, on-shore exhibits and activities for five days along 50 acres of Cincinnati’s riverfront parks and recreation areas.

The new onshore Music, Arts and Heritage Festival will highlight the music, food, arts and culture that spanned the river on steamboats to new cities and towns.

Additional special events include nightly fireworks, educational learning centers and historical exhibits, including Along Jordan’s Path, which examines the period from the early 1800s and the advent of the steamboat and the roles of slaves in building steamboats and journeying to freedom via the steamboat.

* State of Eight: A Bicentennial Tribute to Ohio’s Presidential Legacy – Now through October 2003 at the Taft Museum in Cincinnati.

The Taft Museum’s presidential exhibit takes a closer look at the political and personal sides of those who aspired to the presidency and of the state’s role in presidential politics.

Hang On Sloopy. Other attractions: Through December, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland is featuring Hang On Sloopy: The Music of Ohio, an exhibit that examines the impact of popular music on Ohio and the impact of Ohio talent on the world of rock and roll.

Heading south of Cleveland to Kent, the Kent State University Museum offers Locks and Frocks: The Impact of the Ohio Canal on Social Change and Lifestyles including a look at fashions of the day.

Just a little farther south to Canton, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is featuring The NFL’s Pioneer Exhibit, which details Ohio’s trailblazing role in the sport. The exhibit will run through 2004.

In Youngstown, The State of the Arts: A Celebration of Ohio’s Rich Artistic Heritage will continue at the Butler Institute of American Art through March 2004.

In Portsmouth, The State of the Arts: A Celebration of Ohio’s Rich Artistic Heritage will be held at the Southern Ohio Museum Oct. 20 through December.

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