(Patricia N. Saffran’s article appeared in Horse Directory, 8/10.)
“I can’t get a reenactor to speak to you right now about the cavalry charge taking place this coming weekend,” Françoise Haffreingue, Executive Manager of the Belgian Tourist Office, NYC, told me a few days before the celebration, “They’re all camping out in bivouacs in authentic conditions of 1815, so they’re not supposed to have cellphones. Of course, some of them might sneak them into their tents, but they’ll have to hide them really well. We can’t enforce the rules of authenticity as much as we’d like with 6,200 reenactors coming from 52 different countries.” I asked Ms. Haffreingue to tell me more about the numbers, which are huge for the events. She said, “Over 118,000 tickets have been sold for the two performances on two days, with 55,000 of them seated. For VIP receptions there are 180,000 place settings, with 2000 catering staff. There’ll be 120 guns and 2,500 kilos of black powder to arm the combatants. Three-hundred-thirty horses form the cavalry charge on Sunday. There are three-hundred box stalls and hitching posts, 30 grooms, 24-hour vet care, and a blacksmith. We already delivered 30 tons of hay. There’ll be 12,000 liters of water delive Download WaterlooPartIFinalred daily for the horses. The cost of the Bicentennial is 10 million euros, paid for by ticket sales.”
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