D-Day Conneaut Ohio 2023
D-Day Conneaut Ohio is a premier living history event and one of the largest and most realistic World War II reenactments in the United States. This event has a very special meaning to me as it was the first event that I was able to get involved with, and I met many people I’m still good friends with to this day. I have been volunteering as a staff photographer since 2016, and in 2022, I took over as the lead photographer. My job as the lead is to make sure that all the staff photographers have gotten coverage of all aspects of the event. This is important because the pictures taken by the staff photographers are then uploaded to the D-Day event page, and the sales of the photographs help support the following year’s event.
Over 1,500 reenactors portrayed military and civilians during the three-day event, centered around the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. The grounds of Conneaut feature a long, flat sandy beach along Lake Erie and a steep hill at the back end, very similar in appearance to Normandy, France. Each represented country has a camp set up in different areas in the park, allowing the public to feel like they are entering that specific country when walking around.
Being a photographer at the event allows you to experience what it was like on the beaches of Normandy in 1944. Every detail is carefully planned to give the event realism, so each time I go, I see something new I hadn’t seen the year before.
The reenactors attend a 1940s jazz dance to finish the weekend event. During the dance, I set up a vintage portrait booth so all the reenactors could get classic-looking photos in their uniforms and best outfits.
The 2024 D-Day Ohio event is scheduled for August 15-17. Be sure to check it out; you won’t be disappointed.