Archived Story

Sequester cuts force cancellations

Published 11:45am Saturday, March 23, 2013

There will be no sounds of cannons and muskets this weekend at Horseshoe Bend Military Park.

Though the park had plans for an anniversary celebration today, park historian Ove Jensen said the event was canceled because of state sequestration.

“We had to cut 5 percent of our budget,” Jensen said. “The anniversary event is the biggest thing we do. Unfortunately, the money we usually have to spend on it is gone.”

Jensen said he doesn’t expect to see an impact in the day-to-day operations at the park.

“The park will remain open every day,” Jensen said. “The two special events – the March and August events – will not take place. March won’t be taking place at all, and for the August event, we have to go down a different path.”

Last year’s August event featured a lecture series at the Ralph Brown Draughon Library at Auburn University. Jensen said this sort of event will not be financially feasible, and the park will be hosting a smaller event.

“We will come back to the park for an August event,” Jensen said. “We will fire the cannon and muskets and have one or two creek camps set up. At this point, however, I don’t expect this event to feature guest speakers.”

Jensen said the park had no choice but to trim events.

“It is very disappointing to the staff here,” Jensen said. “A lot of the volunteers have been coming to the park without a break since 1998. These events have become a small reunion of sorts.”

Jensen said that throughout the summer, they will still be hosting monthly Saturday events. The sequestration should not affect next year’s 200th anniversary celebration.

“We are already planning around potential budget issues – one way or another we will have a bicentennial program in March 2014,” Jensen said. “The size of the event may be affected, but we will have some series of events in the week surrounding March 27, 2014.”