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Battle of Ogdensburgh re-enactment will be an international affair

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OGDENSBURG - The city of Ogdensburg will be a battle zone this weekend.

Make that a historical battle zone, celebrated on the U.S. and Canadian sides of the St. Lawrence River.

The 200th anniversary of the Battle of Ogdensburgh will be re-enacted Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday at 2 p.m., American and British troops will battle their way downtown to the intersection of Ford and State streets, just like they did in 1813. On Sunday at 2 p.m., they’ll resume the fight at the traditional battle scene at Lighthouse Point.

The downtown battle is a first and has generated plenty of buzz.

Greater Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sandra M. Porter said she received a call about Saturday’s battle from a couple in Sackets Harbor.

“They were very excited that it’s going to be downtown,” she said Friday. “It’s going to be a very busy day in Ogdensburg.”

Twelve re-enactment groups from the United States and Canada - 185 soldiers in all - will participate. The downtown battle will last about 45 minutes.

Aside from the history connection, the re-enactment will have a family connection. A descendent of Capt. Benjamin Forsyth, who commanded at Ogdensburg during the battle, will attend 200th anniversary activities on both sides of the St. Lawrence River.

Mary Lou Peterson of Boulder, Colo., traces her lineage through Mr. Forsyth’s youngest daughter.

On Saturday, Fort Wellington in Prescott, Ont., will be open to the public. There will be family activities, a children’s muster and an active display of heritage trades and crafts in the visitor center. A three-dimensional mural depicting the raid on Ogdensburg will be unveiled on a heritage building in downtown Prescott in the afternoon.

On Sunday, James E. Reagan of Ogdensburg will narrate the re-enacted battle on Lighthouse Point.

The schedule of events is:

Today:

Chicken dinner at Freight House Restaurant, 20 Market St., $10.

8:30 p.m., fireworks from Prescott, Ontario, waterfront.

Saturday:

9:45 a.m., military drills and demonstration at Fort Wellington, Prescott.

10 a.m., heritage interpreters with displays and family activities, Fort Wellington.

10:30 a.m., 19th century medical display at Dobisky Center, Ogdensburg.

1 p.m., flag-raising ceremony in salute to veterans and serving military, Dobisky Center.

2 p.m., battle re-enactment, downtown Ogdensburg.

3 p.m., the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highland Regiment Pipe Band, Ogdensburg Public Library.

3 p.m., unveiling of the commemorative mural, Prescott.

3:30 p.m., reception at the Forwarder’s Museum, Prescott.

7:30 p.m., winter ball/English country dance at Ogdensburg Amvets Post No. 19.

Sunday:

11 a.m., wreath-laying ceremony at Sheriff York’s grave, Ogdensburgh Cemetery.

2 p.m., battle re-enactment at Lighthouse Point.

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