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Safety & Authenticity



Central Illinois WWII Reenactors is a reenactment organization dedicated to preserving our military history. We organize a summer and winter WWII living history event at W.H. Sommer Park in Peoria, Illinois. As a group of individuals that have a love of history and many years of reenacting experience, we pride ourselves in putting on a quality event with a laid-back atmosphere at an awesome site.

W.H. Sommer Park is 320 acres of open fields, wooded hillsides and ravines. On the site are several recreated 19th century buildings. Our WWII events fit well at this location and to maintain our good relationship with the park, we must keep a few things in mind.


1. Please engage the public. They are there to see and learn. Sommer Park is Peoria Park District's historical interpretative park.

2. Throughout the year, the park does 1850's living history. The site must revert back to pre-event condition at the end of the weekend.

3. Police up your own trash.

4. Foxholes are allowed in certain areas. Please ask event staff before digging.

5. All foxholes and fire pits must be completely filled in before you leave the event.

6. No excessive spinning out/ rutting in grass off road areas.

7. Damage to grounds comes out of our vehicle hauling fund. Don't do it.

8. Buildings/covered accommodations are available. Please contact event staff.

9. Do not disturb artifacts or tools in historic buildings. This is vandalism!

10. Reenactors must park in the designated reenactor parking area. Yes, it's a bit of a walk, but it keeps cars out of your prized action photo and also prevents your car getting hit by a tank on its way to the battlefield.

11. All non-period vehicles will be out of camps by 10am.

12. Please sign in at registration ASAP. Don't wait till 5 minutes prior to S&A to register all 15 of your unit. Delayed S&A delays commanders briefs which delays staging times, delaying battle times, etc.

13. If you miss S&A, an event staff member will be present at the schoolhouse to inspect late arrivals.

14. It's bad luck to end on 13. If you're reading this, you are paying attention.


Safety is our #1 concern at our events.


2. ALL participants on park property will attend S&A inspection.

3. ALL blank ammo will be inspected at S&A -ALL AMMO NEEDS TO BE IN ZIPLOCK BAGS FOR S&A-

4. Muzzle awareness. Maintain safe distances from other participants and the spectators.

5. Treat all weapons as if they are loaded.

6. Check Blank Adapters.

7. No wood tip blanks/ shredder BFA's.

8. Knives/bayonets will not be drawn during battles.

9. Hand to hand combat is prohibited unless scripted and cleared with event staff.

10. Real life medical emergencies must be reported to event/park staff Immediately.

11. Medical emergencies must be identified by "CEASE FIRE, 911!"

12. Drink water. Stay hydrated.

13. Be able to identify symptoms of someone with heat/cold weather injuries.

14. Vehicle speed is 5 MPH when passing troops/spectators.

15. Use a vehicle ground guide when in congested areas.

16. Large vehicles/armor have the right of way. Move out of the way.

17. All vehicles will be equipped with a modern operational fire extinguisher.

18. All campfires and stoves must be monitored at all times.

19. Do not approach black powder mortars/ artillery pieces unless the crew has acknowledged they have ceased firing.

20. Smoke grenades must be monitored until done burning or placed in a metal coffee can to prevent grass fires.

21. Participants must be 18 years old to be on the battlefield with a weapon. Non-combatants will be allowed as medics or vehicle crewman but must be at least 16 years old and supervised by a parent or legal guardian.


Any violations of safety guidelines will result in the participant(s) immediate expulsion from the event.




We strive to provide the public with an accurate representation of the WWII time period. All military and civilian impressions must be historically correct in order to maintain a quality event. Listed below are some guidelines/ words of wisdom.


"There are differing levels of involvement in our hobby. From ultra hardcore down to lowly FARB. It is not your job to ruin someone's event because you don't like their uniform or glasses. We all had to start somewhere in this hobby and had to work to get where we are now. The best way to improve authenticity is to foster a progressive attitude toward improving impressions. Take a minute and talk to someone about their gear before you destroy them with nasty comments. Why waste your time whining when you can enjoy your time at the park."


"Knowledge is key to an excellent impression. Research and ability to interpret history to the public trumps your Band of Brothers DVD, $2000 At The Front Wardrobe, and generally bad attitude."


"Facial Hair and Haircuts will be within regulation of the military force represented. 5 o'clock shadow, shagginess, and beards are allowed if it is representative of unit being portrayed. Just be ready to provide an answer when asked why you are out of regs."


"Vehicles will be of WWII vintage or accurate replica. Replica vehicles will be assessed by event staff prior to the event. No CJ-2As/M38/ post war VW allowed on the battlefield or in any historic scenario. Just because it's painted green, doesn't make it right."

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