Standing in formation in the hot sun, decked out in a wool outfit might not seem like fun to some people, but to Old Town residents Todd Brighton and Konstantin Gojnycz, reenactors from the 1st Virginia regiment, its a living history lesson. (See photo of reenactors on A4)
Before the American Revolution, the 1st Virginia started out as a citizens militia, revolting against British rule, and soon became a regular part of the Continental Army in 1775 and remained a viable part of the army until 1783.
We learn how they lived, said Brighton. Gojnycz, who goes by Kon, in the regiment, was always interested in the American Revolution, but over the last two years, Ive been researching, the 1st Virginia regiment, he said. Kon even built up a character that is a blacksmith and counterfeit coin maker, which he uses as a platform for teaching onlookers about money and blacksmithing in those days. My character forges money occasionally, Im a bit of a rogue, Kon said.
Brighton has been re-enacting for seven years, and Kon for just over three years, and both don the uniforms when duty calls, and if they are able to leave their government jobs.
The regiment counts on them to be there for the big events, and that includes the George Washington Birthday parade in February, a ceremony at Yorktown this year, and the July 4 events at Mount Vernon.
On regiment days, after the formation breaks down, the regiment hangs out at Gadsbys Tavern or around the streets of Old Town, posing for pictures and enjoying a bit of celebrity status.
Youre a celebrity at least for a day, Brighton said. And Kon doesnt mind the interest, either. People do want to come up and take your picture, I get a kick out of it, he said.