By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – The last event for Corinth’s 2012 commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War is planned for this weekend as the Grand Illumination returns for its fifth year.
The highlight of the award-winning event is the lighting at dusk Saturday of 12,000 luminarias in memory of the soldiers from both sides of the conflict who died in Corinth in 1862 – in April during the Siege of Corinth and in October during the Battle of Corinth.
Events throughout the day on Saturday and historical programs planned for Sunday provide a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy, said Kristy White, executive director of the Corinth Area Convention and Visitors Bureau which co-sponsors the event with the National Park Service.
“This has been named a Top 20 event by the Southeast Tourism Society,” White said. “Our downtown merchants will host open houses and offer special discounts, and we’ll have complimentary carriage rides around our historic downtown from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.”
All events are free and also include living history programs and demonstrations at the National Park Service Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center, a unit of Shiloh National Military Park.
“Having Douglas the Camel as a special guest is extremely popular, and he’ll be back this year,” said Ashley Berry, supervising ranger at the interpretive center. Douglas was the mascot of the 43rd Mississippi, known at the Camel Company.
Added features this year in honor of the Civil War Sesquicentennial include living history programs by re-enactors portraying Civil war generals and several cannon firings at intervals throughout the day on Saturday and once on Sunday.
Luminarias will line the route from the interpretive center, also the site of Battery Robinett, to downtown and also highlight antebellum homes, the historic business district, historic railroad crossings and the Corinth Contraband Camp.
Live entertainment will be available at Trailhead Park from 2-4 p.m., and the Corinth Poetry Project will present storytelling, poetry and music at the contraband camp.
Events Saturday will culminate with a 7 p.m. concert by noted Civil War musician Bobby Horton at the interpretive center.
• What: 2012 Grand Illumination
• When: Saturday, Sunday
• Where: Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center, downtown Corinth and Corinth Contraband Camp
• For more information: (800) 748-9048 or www.corinthcivilwar.com