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Issue 1561 November 25, 2012
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2018 River of Time Fills Riverfront With Sights and Sounds of Years Past

Annual Event Brings Re-Enactors Back To Bay City

October 7, 2018       1 Comments
By: Stephen Kent

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Last weekend saw the annual River of Time Living History Encampment return to Bay City's downtown Veterans Memorial Park. The annual event brings history alive as hundreds of history enthusiasts gather to faithfully take on the roles of our forefathers and camp in the park grounds.

According to the "River of Time Gazette", the event dates back to 1991. Anne Hatchel was visiting with Bay City Democrat editor Scott DeVeau and asked about a picture of a recent Civil War Muster from Jackson, Michigan. Anne had tried to start a similar event while mayor of Bay City but had no success. She asked Scott to "find out how Jackson does it and we'll run with it. "

Scott and Carol DeVeau, along with Scott Cummings, Dan Chapman and Dave Walchowiak discussed the idea, talked over a lunch or two, and between them came up with the "River of Time" concept. Virginia Hutter was the first chairperson and was joined on a fledgling board by Anne Hatchel, Dee Dee Wacksman and Gay McInerney of the Bay County Historical Society.

Thus the River of Time was born and has thrived ever since. Today it is the crowning event of Bay City's exciting summer of events, festivals and activities.

Each year the event evolves. Civil War battles have been replaced with other skirmishes, vintage airplanes fly over the camp, ships like the Appledore join in battle from the water, cannons are fired from shore. New re-enactors and timelines are added and others change or move to another location.

The uniqueness of River of Time is the way it presents a "timeline" of history ranging from the Native American settlements through each of the major periods of time up to the Vietnam war. Again this year there were live portrayals of historical figures like President Lincoln, mock battles, root beer, "Kettle Korn" and live music.

Friday is the official set-up and "Education Day". Students from around the state will visit the camp and experience history first hand as they meet the re-enactors and learn about the lives they portray.

As every year, admission is free. The but event is not free. It cost thousands of dollars to put on and those funds are raised by the River of Time committee throughout the year. An important part of that fundraising is voluntary contributions by visitors. Donation boxes and welcoming volunteers will be at each gate. When you visit be sure to drop a few bucks in the bucket to help cover the cost of this popular end-of-summer event in Bay City.

For more information visit the Museum web site at


Always studying to get the information right.

Piper Cub spotter plane makes a pass over the re-enactment

"Sutlers" provided vintage goods for both visitors and re-enactors.
 has covered the River of Time since 2003.
Take any of these links for prior year coverage:

2018.a, 2018.b
2017.a, 2017.b, 2017.c,
2015, 2014, 2013,
2012, 2011, 2010, 2009,
2008, 2008, 2008, 2008,
2007, 2007,
2006, 2006,
2005, 2005, 2005,
2004, 2003,

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"The BUZZ" - Read Feedback From Readers!

rheath1944 Says:       On October 06, 2018 at 04:25 PM
The weather could have been more welcoming but the spirit and atmosphere that these photos show is stunning! Proud of our community and the people who involve themselves in making this happen.
Agree? or Disagree?

Stephen Kent

Steve Kent and his family have lived in Bay City for 40 years. He is VP of Technical Services at MMCC which produces MyBayCity.Com. Kent is active in many Bay City civic organizations.

More from Stephen Kent

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