The Civil War Helena Communications Committee met Jan. 10 to discuss some of the progress it is making and the updated activities that will take place.
Currently, two bronze statues have been placed and unveiled in Helena –Confederate General Patrick Cleburne in front of the Helena Museum and the African American student in Court Square Park.
“We have a full spring schedule that will be launched with the dedication of Freedom Park at noon on Feb. 23,” reported Chris Allen, chair of the Civil War Helena Communication Committee.
Other events will include several statewide historical association conferences – The Living History Association and the Arkansas Historical Association. The National Underground Railroad Society plans a one-day visit during its conference in Arkansas. Exhibits, a re-enactment of the Battle of Helena over the Memorial Day weekend, a tour by Arkansas State University students and production of a documentary on Freedom Park by an ASU film professor, are also in the works.
The committee approved the program and communications plan for the Freedom Park dedication ceremonies. Charles McGhee, area customer service manager for Entergy, will serve as master of ceremonies.
“We are excited about the dedication of Freedom Park and hope to provide an overview of Freedom Park, recognize the great works of sculptors, artists contractors and builders and provide tours of Freedom Park and Fort Curtis with KIPP students as our tour guides,” commented Allen.
Ron Kelly of the Delta Cultural Center presented a power point presentation concerning the plans for Battle of Helena re-enactment. According to Allen, Kelley has developed a comprehensive plan covering logistics, camp placement, and the battle itself, “With more than 1,000 Union and Confederate re-enactors participating in the 3-day event,” concluded Allen.