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The USS Water Witch will be "commissioned" during a ceremony on April 4

The USS Water Witch will be commissioned during this year's RiverBlast! The Water Witch is a full-scale recreation of an historical Civil War steamship. It will bring a new element to the National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus, 1002 Victory Drive, by providing visitors with the feel of a true on-ship experience.

The ship will come to life on April 4 as the paddlewheels turn, the whistle blows, smoke drifts from the smoke stack, the wind blows the flags and a uniformed crew perform an authentic Civil War commissioning ceremony.

Construction on the Water Witch is nearing completion in anticipation of the commissioning ceremony.

The commissioning ceremony begins at 11 a.m. April 4, kicking off the RiverBlast! events of the weekend:

April 4:

11 a.m. 1863 commissioning of the USS Water Witch

1:30 p.m. Pike Drill

2 p.m. Ironclad Battle on the Chattahoochee River

2:30 p.m. Musket Drill

3-5 p.m. Boat rides

3 p.m. Gatling Gun Firing

3:30 p.m. Cannon Firing

4 p.m. RiverBlast! Ends

6-7:30 p.m. Presentation of Columbus' Newest City Landmark: The Adventures and History of the USS Water Witch (in the Museum's Center Gallery). Free.

April 5

9 a.m. Cannon Firing

10 a.m. Reenactors' Church Service time

11 a.m.-1 p.m. Boat Rides

12:30 a.m. Gatling Gun Firing

1 p.m. Cannon Firing

1:30 p.m. Cutlass Drill

2 p.m. Ironclad Battle

2:30 p.m Pike Drill

3-4 p.m. Boat Rides

3 p.m. Gatling Gun Firing

3:30 p.m. Musket Drill

4 p.m. Cannon Firing

4 p.m. RiverBlast! Ends

Tickets are $6-$10, includes boat rides and games.

Call 706-327-9798.

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