WWII event expands to two days

About 80 re-enactors and more than 3,000 spectators are expected at this weekend’s second William W. Perkins WWII Memorial Weekend in Walker.

The one-day event last year honoring those who served in World War II has been expanded to Saturday and Sunday.

“The biggest new attraction is a 1944 M36 tank destroyer coming from Alabama,” event organizer Robert Reynolds said. “This tank was created to take out other tanks. The owner, Ron Hargrove, has been on (the Baton Rouge-shot TV series) ‘Sons of Guns.’”

Reynolds, of Denham Springs, who coordinates the weekend with his wife, Charlotte, said the battle (re-enactment) scenario will be different this year as well.

“We’re actually building a French farm with a farmhouse out in the field and the Germans will have their position inside that house. So the objective of the Allied (British, French and American) forces is to take that position.”

The main re-enactment will take place at 3 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Other events include a 10 a.m. opening ceremony Saturday with remarks by U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy and Congressional candidate Paul Dietzel. Cassidy’s father and Dietzel’s grandfather both served in the war. Demonstrations, veteran meet and greets and children’s activities will run throughout the day. Music will be by Jeremy Downey, Anita LeBlanc, and Jim and James Linden Hogg.

A related event will be a USO Swing Dance show Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Old South Jamboree, 9554 Florida Blvd., Walker. Admission is $10.

A full schedule of events can be found at ww2memorialweekend.com.

The City of Walker is the official host for the Memorial Weekend.