OGDENSBURG Sometimes, historical re-enactors have what they call an 18th-century moment, when the present slips away for an instant and they feel as if they truly are part of another era.
Thats the whole reason for doing this, said Michael R. Dickinson, Glens Falls, who dressed in Native American garb and war paint as one of many participants at Ogdensburgs annual Founders Day Weekend.
The festivities are part of the 52nd annual Ogdensburg Seaway Festival, a two-day event which includes a craft show, concerts and a fireworks display tonight.
Its become an icon of Ogdensburg, said Timothy W. Cryderman, re-enactor and second vice president of the Fort la Presentation board of directors, which organized the event.
Founders Day drew about 1,500 people last year, according to Mr. Cryderman, a figure he expected to match this year.
Highlights include mock battles on the river and land, held near the site of a long-since demolished fort that passed through the hands of French, British and American troops during the 1700s. Tents set up nearby house a blacksmith and vendors selling period goods.
We think that this really represents the history of the area, Mr. Cryderman said.
For over 10 years, the festival has drawn re-enactors from all over the northeast and occasionally as far away as Alaska or Tennessee.
Its a wonderful site. The town is really supportive, said Rebecca J. Cornell, Northfield, Vt.
Cornell is part of the crew of the Dark and Stormy, a replica of a small British naval vessel from the 18th century. The boat was constructed after one of the re-enactors received a small reproduction cannon for Christmas, and decided he needed something on which to mount it.
The group spent three years creating the boat, and the cannon is proudly attached to the front.
We werent sure if it was going to float, Ms. Cornell said, but it did.
Mr. Dickinson is part Native American, and travels to dozens of events every year under the name Cheeksaunkun. He has attended Ogdensburgs Founders Day since the beginning.
I started reenacting when I was about 10, said Chris A. Stringham, Syracuse. Its basically like playing dress-up and war still.
Although they live in far-flung regions, re-enactors use social networking sites to stay in touch during the off season.
Its almost more than we communicate with our own families, said David A. Scalzo, Albany.
The activities continue today, with another naval reenactment at 11 a.m. and a land battle at 1:30 p.m.