Fort Massac's Encampment every October. Encampment is a reenactment of the French and Indian War days here in Southern Illinois and the reenactors do a fabulous job.
They rebuilt the fort a few years back so we have a replica of how it looked back in 1802. Lewis and Clark stopped at Ft. Massac on their way West since it's right on the banks of the Ohio River.
This is our seventh year going and we still enjoy it. It's not every day you see 17th Century up close and personal like that.
The vendors and tradesmen dress in period clothing and many of them demonstrate how goods were made and they love telling you about what they're doing and how life was in the 1700's.
The reenactors set up camps that they live in over the weekend. Each army has its own camp and it's interesting to walk through them. I'm always amazed at how difficult life must have been for them. We have things soooo good now!
The big event each day is the battle. Since the camps are on the opposite side of the park the armies, and their camp followers parade through the grounds, and if you see them heading toward to battle grounds, you know you're too late to get the 'best seats' along the gorge they use. It makes they perfect battleground because the spectator can sit on the banks of the gorge and see the battle unfold.
Each year it's fun to watch the Indians. They add so much because you never know what they're going to do and when they'll strike. One year the battle started because they kidnapped a girl that was gathering herbs and nuts in the gorge--we still laugh at how those Indians kept her subdued during the battle--it was its own little show.
This year there was something new. One of the reenactors had a small Cricket field roped off and he taught anyone who wanted to learn how to play Cricket like they did during the French and Indian Wars. Two of my boys participated and had fun--this is my middle son batting while my oldest was on the other end of the field and my youngest helped keep score. They really enjoyed it.
But our favorite part of the Encampment is still the music tent. Over the seven years we've been attending we've gotten to know the group called the Peacocks and we love hearing them play. Each year we check for new CDs (there's not been any for a 2-3 years. *rats*) and try to visit with them a little. Our favorite song of theirs is "Whiskey Before Breakfast" which cracks them up because they know us well enough to know we do NOT do whiskey before breakfast or any other time of day! =]
So there you have it--a homeschool field trip with my family to one of our favorite events of the year.
What's one of your favorite events?