RENOVO — The Renovo Metropolitan Area Heritage Park is pleased to host the return of Heritage Days this weekend beginning tonight. The three-day event will feature an emphasis on the Civil War era through the late 19th century.
Smokey Bear will greet visitors Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Heritage Park headquarters on Erie Avenue, just before Mayor Gene Bruno’s proclamation at the Municipal Building at 6 p.m.
The three-day event promises to offer fun for the whole family, with an emphasis on the first two days, including a visit from General Grant of the Civil War Union.
Kenneth Serfass will play the role of General Grant. He will speak on Thursday about the role of the railroad over time and on Friday he will speak about its service in the Civil War.
Gunnery Sgt. Kenneth J. Serfass is a native of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, born June 18, 1966. A U.S. Marine since 1984, his last duty station was with the 1st Marine Division Band during Operation Freedom Iraqi, retiring in July 2004 to become a teaching musician.
Ken was a Civil War re-enactor, but is now a 47-year-old first-person impressionist studying his childhood hero, Ulysses S. Grant. As a full-time professional living historian who plays Grant, he makes anywhere from 11 to as many as 23 appearances each month throughout the year.
Ken began appearing as General Grant in 2009 while living in San Diego, California. Since returning to the East Coast, he regularly participates in horseback riding tours, train excursions, school history programs, living history events and panel discussions at public libraries. , and annually in Southern California at the Huntington Beach Civil War Days over Labor Day weekend. Ken is firmly established on both coasts. He jokes that with part of his free time working part-time as a brakeman on the East Broad Top Railroad, his entire job depends on time travel.
It has appeared in Pamplin Park near Petersburg, Virginia, and in various national park sites in many states. In 2015, he was invited to join The Federal Generals Corps, a living history club that houses first-person impressions of many of the best-known Union generals in the American Civil War, to be their “Ulysses S. Grant.”
Last October, he toured Tennessee and Mississippi visiting Grant’s major battle sites and spawned a series of videos, “How the War Was Won in the West” discussing the campaigns that brought Grant into focus as the leading general in the Civil War.
He has spoken on Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign before the Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides Association to develop a broader study of the civil war among their guides and is the first Grant Impressionist to feature his own themes at the National Monument General Grant, in New York City, giving interactive public speeches. , as General and President, and developing Junior Ranger programs for the NPS, to bring America’s youth closer to history.
His repertoire includes programs focused on Grant’s battle campaigns, his relationships with Lincoln, Sherman and Lee, and most importantly, the Grant family and two terms as the 18th President of the United States. This has led to the most recent casting to play President Grant in a documentary featured on Fox News Channel and Fox Nation, set to premiere on October 10, 2021.
Entertaining and educational, the spectrum of places mentioned above also includes museums and business groups seeking leadership training and inspiration. Ken’s work enjoys many references in many places so that they, too, can speak WITH history and share in our rich national heritage.
It is with profound honor that he tells the story of one of America’s greatest military leaders, and Ken takes it very seriously in reaffirming Grant’s place of honor among the most respected people in our nation’s history. His passion for the subject is evident in his presentation, and it is hard not to be affected by his enthusiasm for his subject and to believe that he has met Ulysses S. Grant in living history.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Thursday, June 16
5-6 p.m. A visit from Smokey Bear
6 p.m. Proclamation at the Town Hall
7-8 pm Civil War Railroad General Grant outside at the Renovo Area Heritage Park Museum
Friday, June 17
7-8 pm General Grant on his service during the Civil War (1865) outside at the Renovo Area Heritage Park Museum
Saturday, June 18
11 a.m. Dedication of the railway mural at the Lingle Neighborhood Market
1 p.m. Van Wagner outside at the Renovo Area Heritage Park Museum
12-6 p.m. QR Quest around town starting outside at the Renovo Area Heritage Park Museum
12:00 Bed Races
12-6 pm Outdoor Raffle Baskets at the Renovo Area Heritage Park Museum
12-6 p.m. Scavenger “Rock” Hunt