Midway Village brings history to life with annual World War I reenactment


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A local museum immerses the public into the history of World War I.

We caught up with residents attending Sunday’s re-enactment at Midway Village. They say the experience is a glance at history that keeps people coming back year after year.

“I’m here with my parents, my mom my dad, and we’re here to just have fun. I’ve been a big history nerd for a long time and I find it always fun to just go around and see the other things people enjoy as well,” said Joseph Mesko, who attended the event.

For Joseph Mesko, it’s a tradition coming to these events.

“I’ve been here multiple times in the past years for World War I and World War II. It’s always fun watching the battles and seeing what people wear everything to show off. It’s amazing,” said Mesko.

For others, it’s a way to learn about history.

Rockford always has a good war World War I and World War II reenactment. [There’s] a lot of good history out here so it’s always fun to kind of reenact what’s actually happened in the past,” said Logan Hutchins.

Dave Fornell is the reenactment coordinator and says it is gratifying to share his love for history with others.

We have displays set up in most of the village’s buildings and we also have a World War I trench that we built on property that we use for both World War I and World War II days,” said Fornell. “We had to research those impressions or we’ve had to research the pieces to things that were missing that we needed to complete a collection or tell a story.”

“It’s really wonderful. We have guests come from all over the region and it’s really fun to learn about what went on in World War I. It’s a long time in our history–100 plus years and a lot of adults and children learn a lot about World War I,” added Patrick O’Keefe, the executive director for Midway Village.

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