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Enjoy a step back in time with 'Love and Liberty'

OTTAWA — On Armed Forces Day May 17, the Reddick Mansion Association will present “Love and Liberty,” a vintage bridal fashion show honoring the U.S. military.

The fashion show begins at 1 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church at 113 Lafayette St. in downtown Ottawa. After the wedding dresses and military uniforms are modeled down the aisle of the lovely and historic church, attendees are invited across the street to the Reddick Mansion for a cake and punch reception. The lower level of the mansion will have a display of military uniforms and their stories as well as feature several wedding-related vendors.

Tickets may be purchased at the Reddick Mansion at 815-433-6100 for $15 and will also be available at the door.

Following the presentation of “The Colors” by an honor guard from the Ottawa American Legion and the singing of our national anthem, local historic figure General W.H.L. Wallace and his wife, Martha Ann, will be the first couple walking down the aisle.

The show will follow chronological order featuring more than 25 dresses, uniforms and stories from the 1920s to the 1990s and will conclude with the playing of the "Armed Forces Medley."

Uniforms from the Air Force, Army, Marines, National Guard and Navy will be worn during the show. The fashion show will also include a Japanese kimono from 1959.

The stories and attire of two local couples will also be featured. Esther and Logan Sommer were married in 1951 at the First Methodist Church in Ottawa. Her wedding dress and his National Guard uniform will be modeled in the bridal show by Raegan Babcock and Russ Gander. Karen and E.J. Werth were married in 1966 at St. Norbert’s Catholic Church in Northbrook and have lived in Ottawa for more than 40 years. Karen’s dress will be worn by Mary Ruedin and E.J.’s Air Force uniform will be worn by Thomas Lamb.

All proceeds from this event will be used for the maintenance and renovation of the Reddick Mansion.

The Reddick Mansion, built in 1858, is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. The Mansion, at 100 W. Lafayette St., Ottawa, is open to the public for tours and also has meeting/reception rooms available for rent for special events.

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