Call it a miscommunication, a misunderstanding, a second thought or perhaps even the power of the press. But whatever you call it, things that were once bunching a lot of britches concerning the upcoming annual Battle of Elizabethtown have now been smoothed over.
And that’s good for everyone involved.
It was only a few weeks ago that the impending split between the Bladen County Hisotical Society and Harmony Hall Committee was made public in this newspaper. That split, which is probably going to take place in July, has been simmering hotter and hotter for the better part of 20 years.
At the time, those involved with the annual Battle of Elizabethtown re-enactment event — which primarily fell on the shoulders of those with the Harmony Hall Committee — made every effort to assure sponsors, participants and supporters that there would be no change to the weekend activities in and around Tory Hole Park.
But town officials, who have been incredibly big supporters and sponsors of the event, began to feel concerned with what we can only assume would be the appearance of taking sides in the planned split. So without any kind of official discussion with the town board, the town said the event could still go on but pulled its sponsorship.
We editorialized on the matter shortly after, mapping out just why that decision was a poor one — not only for the Harmony Hall folks, but for the community, merchants, visitors and town itself.
Thankfully, logic soon prevailed and all of the fences have been mended.
The Battle of Elizabethtown re-enactment weekend has seen three years so far, and each year it gets just a little better and bigger. This year, the fourth, it has been moved back to late September in an effort to avoid the oppressive heat and pop-up thunderstorms often associated with August.
From all we’ve heard so far, the weekend will offer visitors to the downtown Elizabethtown area plenty to see and do — not only a battle re-enactment on Saturday and Sunday, but a full compliment of period and modern vendors, along with a number of demonstrations and plenty of entertainment.
But today, in this space, where once we chastized the town of Elizabethtown officials for putting a huge crimp in the Battle of Elizabethtown weekend, it is our intention to rescind that chastizing just as they did their bailout of sponsorship.
There are only a handful of events that pull people from throughout the region to downtown Elizabethtown each year, and the Battle of Elizabethtown re-enactment is one of them. We are happy to see the town has realized just how important it is to remain a part of the weekend and help all it can to grow it each year.
We look forward to a long and lasting partnership between the event’s organizers, participants and town officials.