PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A parade and Civil War living history events commemorating Philadelphia’s role in helping to defend the union cause is set for Saturday in center city.

The parade – marking the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War – is set to get under way at 10 a.m. outside the National Constitution Center on Arch Street.

It will feature about 500 re-enactors representing Union infantry, artillery and calvary units formed during the Civil War.

John Meko, chairman of the board of the Civil War History Consortium of Greater Philadelphia, says the assembly will also feature present-day active military units and marching bands. The parade will head up Sixth Street past Independence Hall, turn west on Chestnut Street and then turn south on Broad Street.

“We will have a great program in front of the Union League which will start right around 10:30 or so, and then down Broad Street to Broad and Washington which was the site where troops left from Philadelphia to go south to defend Washington in April of 1861.”

He says that was the location of the former Wilmington & Baltimore passenger train depot.

There, re-enactors will conduct living history demonstrations until 3 p.m. The day will be capped by a Civil War-period ball in the Union League headquarters Saturday evening.

Reported by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio

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