Fort Zachary Taylor, a Civil War-era fort on Key West's Atlantic Ocean shore, is hosting a battle between land and sea forces, the staged court trial of a blockade runner and living history encampments of Civil War re-enactors Friday through Sunday, Feb. 8-10. (See my slide show at http://www.examiner.com/slideshow/fort-zachary-taylor-key-west).
Civil War Heritage Days re-creates the era when Key West was the only Deep South port to remain in Union hands. Fort Taylor played a major role in the Union blockade of Confederate shipping.
Presented by the staff and volunteers of Fort Zachary Taylor, the festival is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Events take place in the fort, the surrounding state park and the waters bordering the park.
During the family-friendly festival, more than 100 re-enactors in period costume are to depict Union and Confederate military personnel, merchants, craftsmen, musicians and civilians of the era. Both Union and Confederate camps will be established on the grounds of the fort and park.
Festival visitors can learn what soldiers lives were like at the fort in the 1860s, experience living history demonstrations and a military parade, watch land skirmishes and view artillery demonstrations.
The fort and park can be accessed from an entrance on Southard Street past Thomas Street. Daily entrance fees, which include a pass allowing visitors to leave and return, are $2.50 per person on foot or bicycle, $4.50 for a single-occupant motorized vehicle and $7 for a vehicle carrying two people with a 50-cent charge for each additional passenger. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free.
Event information: www.floridastateparks.org/forttaylor/, 305-292-6713 or 305-292-6850
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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