The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism has cancelled the Battle of Prairie Grove reenactment that was scheduled for Dec. 4-6, 2020, at Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park due to the ongoing public health emergency created by the coronavirus and the resulting global pandemic.
“No other Civil War reenactments have been held this year,” said Grady Spann, director of the Division of Arkansas State Parks. “We can’t faithfully reenact the battle and ensure the safety of reenactors and spectators by meeting Department of Health requirements such as maintaining 6 ft. of social distance and requiring they wear face masks. We understand the disappointment of many, including our own park staff, over the cancellation.”
Since 1978, reenactments of the Battle of Prairie Grove have attracted those hoping to catch a glimpse into life during the 1860s in the Arkansas Ozarks. The highly anticipated biennial events have always drawn up to 600 reenactors and up to 5,000 spectators to the community of Prairie Grove for a weekend of living history demonstrations, interpretive programming and children’s activities on this authentic Civil War battlefield.
“We feel that the responsible thing to do, so as not to endanger the health and welfare of the public, the reenactors and our staff, was to cancel the event,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “We hope that when the health emergency brought on by this global pandemic is over, we can host the reenactment of the Battle of Prairie Grove in 2022.”