Renninger's hosts the Battle of Townsend's Plantation Civil War Festival


  • Michael Kappel
Sorry to break your hearts, Civil War history buffs, but there was never such a thing as the Battle of Townsend’s Plantation. The annual Civil War “re-enactment” is named after organizer Clay Townsend’s former family restaurant, where the festival used to take place. The closest the war actually came to Central Florida was the Union shelling of Tampa in 1862. Don’t fret, though; this is still the best way to get a dose of the War Between the States. On each day of the festival, volunteers perform a scripted – though somewhat idealized – battle using accurate costumes, weapons, horses and tactics. In addition to the centerpiece battle, living history exhibits, folk music, weaponry demonstrations and a period-dress-required ball round out the experience. If you’ve been bingeing on Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary series on Netflix – and if you haven’t, you should probably start immediately – this is the closest you’ll get to seeing those blurry photographs come to life; Morgan Freeman narration not included.

10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday | Renninger’s Antique Center, 20651 U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora | 407-418-2075 | | $6