43rd Annual Rendezvous
June 1-2, 2013
Fort de Chartres
State Historic Site
The Midwest’s largest
gathering of 1700s era soldiers, settlers, traders
and campers, the 43nd Annual Rendezvous at Fort
de Chartres, will be held Saturday and Sunday,
June 1 and 2 at Fort de Chartres State Historic
Site near Prairie du Rocher. The event is free
and open to the public, and the parking fee has
been reduced to $5 per car this year.
Rendezvous features 1700s military
units, traditional craft demonstrations, period
music and dancing, black powder shooting events,
cannon firings and more from the time when France
controlled what is now the State of Illinois.
Many activities feature public participation.
The event is cosponsored by the Illinois Historic
Preservation Agency, Les Coureur de Bois de Fort
de Chartres, and Save Illinois History.
Each day’s activities begin
with the Opening Ceremony and Posting of Colours
at 10 a.m. The Retreat Ceremony ends each day’s
activities at 4:30 p.m. An 18th century military
tactical demonstration (mock battle) takes place
at 2:15 p.m. each day, and the French Marines
of Fort de Chartres will drill at 11 a.m. both
days. Mass will be held Sunday, June 3 at 8 a.m.
at stage # 1, and a Protestant service, also at
8 a.m., at stage # 2. A dance for all participants
and visitors featuring period music and dancing
will be held Saturday, June 1 from 8 to 10 p.m.
at the fort.
The re-creation of a trial held
exactly 287 years ago that weekend will be presented
at 1 p.m. both days at stage # 1. The soldiers
and ladies of the Fort de Chartres French Marines
will present a “Law and Order of the 18th
Century” vignette of a slander trial that
took place June 4, 1725 between Marie Medand and
Blanche, the wife of a French Marine drummer.
The big guns come out at Rendezvous.
The fort’s 6-pound cannon will be fired
hourly both days, preceded by an instruction in
the art of cannon firing by the French Colonial
Artillerie. La Grande Cannon Fusillade (The Big
Cannon Shootout) will be held from 11 a.m. to
2 p.m. on Sunday. It’s loud, it’s
fun, and it’s fascinating to watch the state
of the art in military technology from the mid
Rendezvous is famous for its
period shooting and military competitions. Saturday
and Sunday will feature rifle aggregate and smoothbore
competition from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A Primitive
Archery shoot will be held from 10 a.m. to noon
both days. Knife and hawk throwing competition
will be held both days from noon to 2:30 p.m.,
and visitors can try their hand at throwing a
The models will take to the historic
runway at 3:30 each day as the 18th Century Fashion
Show hosted by Ted Mueller returns to stage #
1. Clothing worn by both men and women from all
walks of life in the 1700s will be modeled.
Scores of period artisan and craft demonstrations
will include pottery, blacksmithing, silversmithing,
coopering, pewter casting, felt making, silk ribbon
embroidery, weaving, woodworking, basketry, treenware
making, silhouette cutting, and cordwaining. Many
items will be for sale.
Period music and dance will be
offered both days. Entertainers include Great
River Fife and Drum Corps; Prairie du Rocher La
Guiannee Society with the String Connection; Tippecanoe
Ancient Fife and Drum Corps; The Peacocks Band;
Booneslick Strings; Traveler’s Dream; and
the 42nd Royal Highlanders Band of Pipes, Fifes
& Drums. Dr. Theophratus von Gerlach will
present “The Future of 18th Century Medicine”
each day at noon.
Eighteenth Century swordplay will be demonstrated
by Robert Bruce Sikes of the Black Knights Fight
Group of St. Louis. His periodic demonstrations
of fencing both days of Rendezvous will include
the history of swordplay, fencing techniques,
and a sword display table.
Working oxen demonstrations will
take place periodically just east of the fort.
The River Gate Food Court will feature a variety
of period food, drink and musical entertainment
under a large tent.
Those who utilize the special
event parking area near Fort de Chartres will
be charged $5 per car (reduced from $7 last year)
and $10 per bus. There will be no modern camping
Fort de Chartres State Historic
Site is located four miles west of Prairie du
Rocher and 37 miles south of Belleville. Take
Route 3 to Route 155 and follow the signs. For
more information call 618/284-7230, email firstname.lastname@example.org,
or visit www.ftdechartres.com
on the web.