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Couple to tie the knot at civil war re-enactment coming up Sept. 16 and 17 Otterville

By Jennifer Vandermeer, Norwich Gazette/IngersollTimes

Re-enactors dressed as Union soldiers in the 42nd New York infantry walk toward their impending doom at the annual American Civil War re-enactment in Otterville on Sunday.  BRUCE CHESSELL/Sentinel-Review

Re-enactors dressed as Union soldiers in the 42nd New York infantry walk toward their impending doom at the annual American Civil War re-enactment in Otterville on Sunday. BRUCE CHESSELL/Sentinel-Review

There may not be wedding bells, but there will be a tying of the knot as this year's Civil War Re-enactment at Otterville includes a traditional handfasting ceremony.

Michal and David Soucie – who were legally married in May – have invited their fellow re-enactors to the Union camp Sept. 16 at 4 p.m. to share in their ceremony, which will be performed by re-enactor Janet Abbott.

A handfasting is a part of a wedding ceremony where the bride and groom clasp hands and a cord is gently wrapped around their hands, with a knot tied to symbolize the binding of the couple together. The origin of the handfasting is Celtic in nature, and ties in with the atmosphere of the annual American Civil War Re-enactment organized by the Canadians in the Grand Army of the Republic for Sept. 16 and 17 at Otterville's Station/Woodlawn site.

The event is hosted by the South Norwich Historical Society, and representative Gail Lewis said the camps are open to the public each day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. where visitors can catch a glimpse of what it was like for soldiers and their supporters to live at the battlefield.

Lewis has described the re-enactors as an ambitious group coming from all across Ontario, who go to great personal expense and work to put on the event each year. Authentic uniforms, tents, arms, and equipment are a must.

Skirmishes between the Union and Confederate soldiers will be staged Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. There is also a candlelight tour of the camp Saturday at 7 p.m.

Re-enactors come from all over Ontario to participate and put on an event with authentic uniforms, tents, arms and equipment, said Lewis.

For further information, contact Janet or Randy Abbott at 519-571-8410 or Lewis at 519-879-6804.