The Siege of Czestochowa, 1655 

What happened to Doylestown??

the event was to be held at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa At Doylestown PA, USA  in conjunction with the 38th Polish -American Festival

Labor Day Weekend, 2003 (Aug 30,31.Sept 1)




On May 30, we announced that the event was canceled,, but that an alternative venue was being sought


well, what's past is past.

The Festival and Site, as it was planned

We visited the 2002 festival. I was much impressed with everybody we met, and with the festival goers.  The Doylestown folks were really nice, knowledgeable people, excited at the prospect of doing something with a real cultural and historical connection. They have a suitable site, and the festival is quite nice - they had some really great entertainment, for example, a professional troop of `Gourale' (from Tatara mountains, Poland) singers and dancers were there putting on a GREAT show. The vendors were low key, there were many great food booths, and we enjoyed some great perogi. Somewhat unexpectedly - there was a county-fair-like midway, with carnival rides.

Maybe next time there could possibly be a Ren-faire like addition to the festival, with a street of 17th C. Vendors leading up to a camp (our living history camp). It would make sense to have some ren-faire like acts and games as well. If you are at a Ren-faire this fall, make a note of what would be fun to emulate.

The Doylestown location is largely rural but is on the fringe of Philadelphia suburbs. The shrine is quite large and attracts worshipers from a large geographic area. The Pauline Fathers operate a monastery on the location.

The facilities and overall site is very nice, much acreage, a tree-lined area good for a camp, plenty of space for a battlefield. Permanent restroom facilities built for the fair would be open 24 hours for our use.. There are extensive indoor conference facilities and a cafeteria, should we have a desire to use them (hmm, maybe an evening costume seminar?). The `main stage' structures provide a clean break between the modern carnival and vendors, on one side, from the other side where the main food area is, which will lead to our area - that is to say, there will be no problem maintaining a 17th C. atmosphere in our area, but it will be easily accessible to visitors. We will actually be camping close to the monastery. Our camp also has a rear exit via an access road, so cars can get pretty close in case people need to get in or out during festival hours (12-8PM). Cannons are no problem. They want cannons, lots of cannons. Horses are welcome also.

 doylestownFence.jpg (336914 bytes) doylestown 001.jpg (154813 bytes)doylestownField 002.jpg (316081 bytes)

above, left, is the left side of the battlefield, where our fortress will be built (actually, along the fence below the view here.)  The horse paddock and the cavalry camp will be in the woods here.  The right continues this view, and in front of the low tree the Swedish gun emplacements and gabions will be set. The Swedish position will continue to the right.  On the far right, at least on Sunday, is an area that will be used as an overflow parking lot.

From this view, if you turn around 180 degrees, you would see the buildings below. This would be, in the middle ground, covered with vendor booths.  The church is in the middle, the stage is to the far right.  On the other side of the stage is the festival food area, and beyond that is our camp, leading up to the monastery.

doylestown 003.jpg (282016 bytes) The map to the right  shows the layout of the Shrine and the key locations of the event.DoylestownAreas.jpg (76001 bytes)



Labor Day Weather

OK, we admit being a bit nervous about the risk of a hot day.  However, the site is on a high ridge, so is a good bit cooler than Philadelphia or even Doylestown, and is not as humid.  The average high/low compares to a Washington DC day in late September.

The Sept 1 high in Quakertown, 10 miles west of the Shrine and at a similar altitude, is 79 degrees, average low 58 degrees. Humidity is usually moderate. In contrast, the average high in Washington DC on the same day is 84, low 66, with high humidity. 

 Sunrise 6:27 Sunset 7:33.

Scenario for Field Events

Current plan: battle around 2 on Saturday, a more or less free tactical with equal sides (the Swedes win in the script, driving the Commonwealth army into the fortress). 

That evening, we could have a 7PM  cannonade with some pyrotechnics and perhaps a rush or sortie - only a few dozen need participate. (That time of year, it starts getting a bit dark at 7:30, but there is still some light at 7:45.) 

Sunday 2PM  a final tactical with 75% of the force on the attack, representing a last ditch attempt on the fortress.  The defenders start with a sortie then the Swedes launch a bombardment and assault.  Eventually, the attackers fall back, followed by harassment of the retreat.  Saturday, Sunday, Monday mornings are entirely free to us if we want to play in other ways (fencing, target shooting, chatting, skirmishing....), as the public will not be in before noon. I think we may need to avoid to much cannon fire-type noise on Sunday morning.

Some of us (like me) will also stay Monday and keep up something of a show, but nothing official will be planned and folks can leave anytime after 5 Sunday or any time Monday (Labor day can be a travel day.)  We will likely also plan a modest appearance the Festival's second weekend (4-6 of us, doing a low key show&tell).

Schedule - Just a preliminary plan at this point!

Labor Day Weekend 2003

Thursday evening

 - a few volunteers will lay out the earth works and construction

Friday Aug 29 

 - Setup anytime after 1 PM

 - a few select peasants and infantry 'volunteers' get to participate in authentic 17th C. style gabion construction! What Fun!

-  optional practice drills and maneuvers - 6PM

Saturday Aug 30 

  -Officer's meeting 9:30 AM

  - Practice drill on the field 10AM.  The snow should all have melted by then.

  - Public arrives at Noon

  - Tactical 2PM-3PM. 

  - Cannonade 7PM-7:50PM

  - Public Leaves at 8PM

Sunday Aug 31 (should be the biggest day, for public attendance)

 - Public arrives at Noon

 -  Tactical 2PM-3PM

 - Wrap-up (optional) 5PM - some 'front camp' living history presentations must continue to 8PM (the crowds get biggest 4-5PM) - (rear camp breakdown and packing allowed starting 3:30PM, especially if the coolers and modern clothes stay low profile - A service road is adjacent to camp in case things can be carried, but no cars in camp 'till 5)

 -Public leaves at 8PM

Monday Sept 1 (traditionally the 2nd biggest day)

 - Optional day for reenactors - Play or Travel. A few folks  - 5 or 6 would do, a dozen would be nice - put on a show 'till 5PM.

 - A few volunteers help break down the 'fort'

 - Public arrives at Noon

 - Public leaves at 8PM

Saturday/Sunday  Sept 8  It would be nice to have a token presence the second weekend of the festival.