Shutdown or not, River Raisin battle commemoration will go on

Shutdown or not, River Raisin battle commemoration will go on

MONROE, MI (WTOL) - Washington is talking about shutting down the government at midnight tonight.

If that happens, how could it impact upcoming events at National Parks in the area?

River Raisin National Battlefield Park has been busy all week hosting their 205th anniversary commemoration of the biggest battle ever fought in the state of Michigan.

Don't be discouraged if you were planning to attend though. All of the planned events this weekend are still going to take place.

More Americans were captured at the Battle of River Raisin than at any battle in US History.

The biggest draw for this weekend's event is planned for Saturday.  Native American, Canadian, and local historical speakers will be talking about the battle, an art show will be taking place as well as a reenactment of the battle.

The visitor center onsite at River Raisin National Battlefield Park was only made available to the public by the US Department of Interior in 2011, almost 200 years after the battle happened.

Park guide Ron Jones gives tours and information to any and all who stop by, as long as he has the resources to do so.

The retired history teacher explained what this means for the park.

"Only the visitor center, the building we're in right now, will be closed," said Jones. "The grounds will be open, so people, visitors, can come by, they can drive through, they can park on the grounds, they can walk the trails, they can read our signs. There just won't be a park ranger in uniform to answer any questions."

Over 400 Americans died on this battlefield in a matter of days.

The battlefield covers a 5 mile radius, not all of which is part of the park.

Reenactment ceremonies will be held on the part of the battlefield not considered park land.

With snow still on the ground, the condition of the battlefield will be similar to the way it was 205 years ago.

While you might not have a ranger on staff to talk to because of the shutdown, the nearby Sports Arena will be staffed with volunteers who are excited to share with you their knowledge of this important historical landmark.

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