Lt. Gen. Lord Cornwallis and his wife stood at the barn entrance Friday and greeted their dinner guests.
The faithful subjects, as Cornwallis called them, then sat at a long, U-shaped table for the annual Under the Crown dinner, held each year at the Living History Park in celebration of King George III’s birthday. Cornwallis and his wife were this year’s special guests.
The event started in the tavern with refreshments before moving to the barn for dinner. They were entertained by a man playing a dulcimer, and participated in Colonial dancing.
Aiken resident Jann Smith has attended historical dinners at the park for about five years.
“It’s good food, good times and good entertainment from the time period,” she said. “It’s always fun, and no two dinners are alike. I really enjoy attending the dinners and meeting others who also enjoy this time period.”
Robert and Natalie Meadors also attended the event and are frequent visitors to the park and its events.
“We fell in love with what’s being done here at the park,” said Natalie. “Lynn (Thompson, president of the Olde Towne Preservation Association) has done a great job leading a team of people who are passionate about history and building this park. It’s truly a jewel.”
The dinner gets guests involved in the interactive activities rather than being in a dinner-and-show format, said Thompson.
“We want people to experience what was typical of a Colonial evening, a Colonial dinner,” she said. “We try to make it as true to life as possible. The more realistic it is, the better people can understand what took place during the time period.”
The dinner kicked off the Under the Crown weekend event, which was set in the 18th century during the time the area was under British rule.
Throughout the weekend, there were 18th century demonstrations and talks throughout the park about a variety of topics, including blacksmithing, spinning and weaving, children’s games, hunting and Colonial dance.
A lady’s tea and a gentleman talk were held on Saturday with Anglican church services on Sunday morning.
The park also showcased its newest building, which includes a mercantile shop on the first floor and a Windsor cabinet shop on the upper level.
For more information about Living History Park and its events, visit www.colonialtimes.us .