Thursday, Sep 20, 2018
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    Re-enactors open fire at the River Raisin National Battlefield Park. More of that is promised at four Weapon Demo Days.

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    Re-enactors perform a musket demonstration at the River Raisin National Battlefield Park.

    The Blade/Lisa Dutton
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MONROE — Ceremonies and re-enactments commemorating the Battle of the River Raisin will be held Saturday even if a potential federal government shutdown occurs overnight, an official at the River Raisin National Battlefield Park said Friday.

The show can go on, administrative assistant Shawna Mazur said, because all of this weekend’s events marking the battle’s 205th anniversary will be held on city of Monroe property and are sponsored by nonfederal sources.

Should federal funding for the River Raisin park and other National Park Service facilities expire, the park itself will have no events and its visitor center on Elm Street will be closed until the shutdown ends, Mrs. Mazur said.

“The grounds will still be open to the public, but there will be no services and no events,” she said.

A bitterly divided Washington hurtled toward a government shutdown Friday in a partisan stare-down.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress and the White House traded blame with just hours remaining before the midnight deadline and few signs an agreement would be reached.

Democrats in the Senate have said they will filibuster a four-week, governmentwide funding bill that cleared the House Thursday evening. That could expose them to charges that they are responsible for a shutdown, but they point the finger at Republicans instead.

“They’re in charge,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday. “They’re not talking to us. They’re totally paralyzed and inept. There’s no one to negotiate with.”

Republicans controlling the narrowly split chamber argue that it’s the Democrats who are holding the government hostage over demands to protect “dreamer” immigrants brought to the country as children and now here illegally.

And the White House piled on, trying to paint the impending action as the “Schumer shutdown.” Still, officials said President Trump has been working the phones trying to avert one.

A shutdown would not affect all federal government services. Only those that receive funding from Congressional appropriations are potentially involved, and even then some operations considered vital would continue, such as the military, law enforcement, air-traffic control, and airport security.

The U.S. Postal Service and Social Security are both funded separately and would not be affected. Amtrak trains would continue to operate at least in the short term.

Mrs. Mazur said the River Raisin Battlefield event was helped in part by federal policy that keeps military re-enactors off National Park Service property.

“We cannot have opposing forces on federal property,” she said, so the “tactical event” has always been held on neighboring city-owned land. This year, park officials decided to hold the entire festival on the city portion of the battlefield site.

The event is co-sponsored, Mrs. Mazur said, by the Friends of the River Raisin Battlefield, the city of Monroe, and the River Raisin Battlefield Park Foundation.

Two other National Parks facilities in the Toledo area will not be affected if the federal government shuts down.

While the Fallen Timbers Battlefield is a National Historic Site, it is only affiliated with — not controlled by — the National Parks Service, said Scott Carpenter, a spokesman for Metroparks Toledo, which operates the park.

Operations there rely in part on federal grants, so a long-term federal shutdown could cause problems, Mr. Carpenter said. But as it is Fallen Timbers has no staff, he said.

Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial is closed for the winter, so public access to its visitors center and monument would not be affected unless a shutdown would last for months. The Put-in-Bay, Ohio, park is scheduled to reopen May 19.

Blade news services contributed to this report.

Contact David Patch at or 419-724-6094.

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