What: Civil War Experience
When: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Gibson Ranch Regional Park, 8556 Gibson Ranch Road, Elverta
How to get there: From Sacramento, take Interstate 5 north toward Woodland. Merge onto highway 99 toward Yuba City/ Marysville. Turn right onto West Elverta Road, then onto Gibson Ranch Road.
Cost: $7 for those 11 and older (parking included)
The organizers say: Lois Meidinger looked toward the rolling hills at Gibson Ranch and marveled at the flickering lamp inside a tent in a camp of "Confederate combatants."
On another day, battle-ready horses galloped through the ranch. Then poor citizens followed other soldiers, offering to do their laundry for money.
No detail is overlooked at the annual Civil War Experience. Hundreds of war buffs dressed in full garb - many of them with encyclopedic knowledge of the time - will convene at Gibson Ranch this weekend for three days of interactive history.
"We have to look back and be reminded of what we can't remember," said Meidinger, founder of the Civil War event at Gibson Ranch.
The event begins Friday for area schoolchildren, then opens to the public over the weekend with music, camp demonstrations, lessons on medical treatments of the time and seminars on guns and canons.
Meidinger said the ranch is ideal for the re-enactments because it reminds her of mid-Southern parts of the United States. The setting is a 150-acre ranch with horses and cattle and about 70 acres of rolling hills. The area also has a 9-acre lake and a creek. Native oaks are abundant as well. Participants can lounge on the grassy hills of the ranch during battles.
About 500 men and women and 40 horses will be part of the show. They stay in character - even when the battles are not ongoing - and answer visitors' questions.
"They don't leave out any detail," Meidinger said. "They are well schooled on the aspects of the war. It's all about entertainment and education."
-- Gamaliel Ortiz