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What is D-Day Conneaut?
What is fast becoming America's Premier living history event, D-Day Conneaut is the most realistic and educational D-Day reenactment of the WWII era. Since 1999, this annual re-creation of the amphibious allied landings upon the beaches of Normandy France has thrilled thousands of spectators. The event occurs within the beautifully kept grounds of Conneaut Township Park, Conneaut Ohio and assembles hundreds of re-enactors from across the United States and Canada. Remarkably, the 250 yard long beach and sloping adjacent terrain closely resemble Omaha Beach in Normandy France.
In 2009 the event staff expanded the program to a Friday evening of musical entertainment and added a morning combat scenario at a vintage stone bridge located inside the park. This engagement featured Axis inland forces pitted against Allied airborne. In support of the Allies were operatives of the French resistance. Following the battle, evacuations of simulated wounded took place which arrived at a field hospital located on the parade ground. With the addition of the inland elements, D-Day Conneaut became an overview of Operation Overlord, the code name used to describe the entire Normandy operation.
in 2009 was the first appearance of a WWII LCVP landing craft aka a Higgins
Boat. Upon the parade ground, General Omar Bradley's 5 Star Flag flew proudly.
These additional elements were added again in 2010. New in 2010 the program began
on Friday at noon and ended the day with a new and highly educational battle called
The Road to Victory. On Saturday morning,
as in previous years, the day kicks off at 9 AM and the amphibious reenactment later in the day features 3 LCVP's,
airplanes and plenty of action. A record number of reenactors, 448,
participated in the 2010 event.
Beginning in 2011, great strides will be made to bring as many WWII Veterans to D-Day Conneaut as possible. As individual units close their national reunions, we are hoping that those still able to travel make D-Day Conneaut their reunion central. We welcome all our former swabbys, dog faces, leathernecks, wingnuts, cunnuckers, Rosie the Rivotors, Waac's, Waves, Wasps and all others of the Greatest Generation to reunite in Conneaut as we celebrate, honor and relive their history. If you are a veteran or the family of a veteran, we urge you to contact Eric Montgomery who is heading up this effort.
The reenactment extends into Saturday evening ending with our annual USO show. In support of the D-Day event, the businesses and cultural centers of the City of Conneaut have added programming as well. Details regarding the entire schedule for this year is available on our event schedule web page.
Via the support of the United States Coast Guard and private contributors, reenactors assemble together to form the amphibious arm of the seaborne landing. A combination of Allied troops representing Britain, Canada, Poland, France and the United States arrive via landing craft similar to those used during D-Day. They are supported by replicas of period aircraft flying overhead compliments of Titan Aircraft. Together, they form the assault force to simulate an attack upon the elevated Axis troop emplacements overlooking the beach; just as it was on the morning of June 6th 1944.
This free to the public reenactment offers an unmatched educational and historical experience. Spectators have an excellent and unobstructed view of the battlefield. Encampments of Allied and Axis units provide spectators the entire 1940's military experience. Sea side, home life, and camp life of the soldiers, sailors, and airmen who participated in the actual landings are realistically recreated with original equipment, uniforms and vehicles.
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Capping off the event is a 1940's USO style show and dance which features a live Big Band. The show is held at the Conneaut American Legion beginning at 8:00 PM Saturday evening. The public is welcomed to attend for a modest $5 admission fee.
This remarkable event is a truly impressive undertaking and is only topped by the presence of the real heroes of D-Day and campaigns throughout the war - our honored Veterans. Honor them by stepping back in time to that Day of Days, D-Day in Conneaut Ohio.
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