Visitors Guide to
Living History Events

in the Middle Mississippi River Valley
 
   




The world of "Living History", whether a Frontier Rendezvous or a Civil War era re-enactment, has experienced an increase in popularity in the past decade, both in the number of participants and events as well as the number of visitors attending these events. Participants take on personas and duplicate as well as possible the life these personas would have lived. Most take great care in using only exacting recreation of clothing, gear, and equipment from the past. Furthermore, many take on the role of teachers, explaining how our ancestors coped with the daily rigors of life. Visitors to these events can expect to find participants portraying fur trappers, Native Americans, craftsmen and artisans of all types, traders, soldiers, Victorian ladies, and more! The Middle Mississippi River Valley is host to a number of annual "Living History" events. 

CIVIL WAR REENACTMENT

Henning, TN
  Mid-April
Fort Pillow State Historic Park, 3122 Park Road
This annual weekend event gives the public a chance to see what life was like for soldiers during the Civil War. There will be various living history programs and visitors will be able to tour both Union and Confederate encampments. The Battle and Living History activities will be held on Saturday and with only Living History activities being held on Sunday. Food vendors will be present on both days.
Free
For more information call 731-738-5581

BATTLE OF PEA RIDGE
CIVIL WAR REENACTMENT
  Late April - early May
Rand Park and other locations in Keokuk
If you are interested in the Civil War and want to get "up close and personal" with history then you will truly enjoy your time at this annual Civil War Reenactment. Activities include a Ladies Program and Tea, a Military Ball, Breakfast with the Troops, a National Cemetery Memorial and Church Service, campfires and two Battle Reenactments.  While in Rand Park, visitors can tour the camps, visit Sutlerís Row, snack on period food and enjoy period entertainment.
Activities at Rand Park are free, other activities may involve a fee
.
For information call 319-524-5599 or 1-800-383-1219
  or visit the keokukiowatourism.org website

WOOD RIVER
RENDEZVOUS

Wood River
  First weekend in May
Route 143 and Route 3
Celebrate the fur trapping era that lasted from 1700 to 1840 at the historic Camp DuBois site. A replica of Lewis and Clark's 1803-1804 winter headquarters is currently under construction.
Free - Donations encouraged

CIVIL WAR REENACTMENT

Piggott, AR
  Biannual in May in odd years
Chalk Bluff Battlefield Park, County Road 347
This biannual reenactment commemorates the Battle of Chalk Bluff that occurred May 1-2, 1863. Activities during the event include historical demonstrations, artillery demonstrations, marching & rifle firing demonstrations, and a Ladiesí Tea. The main event is the battle reenactment that occurs each afternoon followed by a Grand Review Parade of Troops returning to camp..
Free
For more information call 870-926-2985 or 573-717-0909

FORT DE CHARTRES
RENDEZVOUS

Prairie du Rocher, IL
  First weekend in June
Fort De Chartres
4 miles west of Prairie du Rocher on IL-155
9 am - 5 pm
One of the largest in rendezvous events in the country occurs annually at this historic fort. 18th century crafts, food, music, 1000's of historically dressed participants, flintlock musket and rifle competition, cannon and mortar competition, traders and more.
Small parking fee
For more information call 618-284-7230

ARCHEOLOGY DAYS
Collinsville
  End of August
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
Collinsville Road
This is the site's largest annual event and features specialists demonstrating ancient crafts such as pottery making, flintknapping, gourd carving, making tools and ornaments, bow and arrow making, and more. Public throwing available.
Free
For more information call 800-289-2388 or 618-346-5160
ANNUAL
FETE DE L'AUTOMNE

Fertile, MO
  First Sunday in October
Hwy CC  across from Washington State Park
Enjoy a beautiful fall day listening to music, visiting with friends, finding your relatives and feasting on the many food delights awaiting you at the annual fete. This event features crafts, storytelling, Chicken' & Dumplinís dinner, croquignoles (French pastry made fresh on site), lots of home baked goodies, and lots more. Visit a historical display in the old Maplewood School house, see live demonstrations, trace your ancestors, purchase historical publications, visit the country store, stir the apple butter, wander the grounds, and enjoy a relaxing day with music provided by internationally known Illinois native Dennis Stroughmatt etí EíSpirit Creole.
Free
For more information call 636-394-3628
  or visit the event's website

CIVIL WAR DAYS
Columbus, KY
  First Weekend in October
Columbus-Belmont State Park
This annual event includes battle reenactments, living history, and encampments. Friday is "education day". Schools, scouts, groups, & clubs are encouraged to schedule field trips. Battles will be held at 2 pm Saturday and Sunday. There will be a Ghost Walk on Friday evening and a Civil War Ball on Saturday night. Sunday morning features services and a Memorial Service at Columbus Cemetery. Sutlers and food vendors will be on site to serve the needs of the reenactors and visiting guests. Special entertainment daily.

Free
For information call 270-677-2327

OLD SETTLERS DAYS
Kampsville
  Second weekend of October
Riverside Park
Held on the banks of the Illinois River this event depicts the life and times of the early Calhoun settlers.
Free

GRAFTON RENDEZVOUS
Grafton, IL
  Mid October
Grafton Riverfront
This event celebrates the pre-1840's fur trade era with reenactors camping along the the Illinois River in teepees and period tents. Activities includes tomahawk and knife throwing competitions, black powder and archery contests, and other period demonstrations, food, crafts, and live entertainment.
Free
     
Additional events of this type can be found on greatriverroad.com's Lewis and Clark Calendar
   
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