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— By TAMMY FRAZIER

Managing editor

A re-enactor’s group will be in Camden today to begin a trip along the Ouachita River and will camp in either Sandy Beach or along the Riverwalk - weather permitting.

The group is participating in the March Keelboat Float down the Ouachita River, stated Ed Williams in a news release.

“We postponed the December float due to lack of crew and then later, due to high water.”

At the time Williams spoke to the newspaper last week, he said water is still high on the Ouachita River, but he hoped it would be at “an acceptable level” by the scheduled date of the float.

The group plans to leave the area at around 9 a.m. on Thursday.

“The float will be from Camden, Arkansas, to Moro Bay State Park and cover 61 river miles,” said Williams. “Travel day will be Wednesday, March 20. We leave Thursday morning, March 21 and travel to either Spoon Bend or Locust Bayou Public Access.

“Friday, we (will) travel to the Port of Calion, Arkansas; and Saturday, we end up at Moro Bay State Park.”

They will average around 20 miles per day, unless there is rain.

In a telephone interview with the Camden News, William stated that, unless there is rain, the trip will begin today, and the re-enactors are inviting the public to go to the river to see the members as they set off on their trip.

Crew members come from surrounding states to participate in the re-enactment, Williams added.

The group will also make camp along the way, as long as the weather holds out, Williams stated. He said the trip ties in to the Dunbar-Hunter Expedition to explore what was bought in the area during the Louisiana Purchase.

The group’s website states:

“Our activities are designed to provide hands-on experience for the general public using experiential archaeology and living history demonstrations.

“Our members boast a wide variety of skills including animal husbandry, food preparation, clothing styles and manufacturing, home-building techniques, furniture making, shingle making, spinning, weaving and knitting, natural dyeing, early lighting, games and recreation and other various cultural aspects of early Arkansaw life. One of our most prized possessions is our 40-foot wooden keelboat, the Aux Arc, a replica of the boats that commonly floated Arkansas rivers in the days before the steamboat.

“We are an all-volunteer organization, and work in cooperation with public schools, parks and museums to provide programs in which the public can experience frontier life first-hand.”

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