Warm temps and rain clouds greeted Feast activities this week. Thursday and Friday students generally were able to remain dry while attending open air Indiana history classes.
Friday afternoon, re-enactors did have some mud to deal with as they arrived from several states to set up their encampments. Some did have to set up in the rain, but the rain was on and off.
Saturday, storms held off until late in the day, allowing thousands of visitors to enjoy the event before the storm. Re-enactors staying at the fort did have to deal with the storm, but it let up in time for supper.
Off again, on again rain made it difficult to keep cooking fires lit. Keeping the wood dry and staying within the Feast rules was one of the weekend’s challenges.
There was a cold soggy start to Sunday morning. Those attending religious services sported wool capes, raincoats and umbrellas. The rain did lighten up and stopped after opening ceremonies. Eventually, the sun did come out, although it remained chilly. Chilly weather, however, makes the hot cider and freshly made croquinolles ( donuts) taste all the better.
The Feast is a major fund raiser for Tippecanoe County Historical Association and many non-profit groups. Food booths are run by non-profit groups, scout groups, youth groups, church groups and other charitable groups don 18th century style clothing to serve a number of tasty treats.
The down turn in the economy has affected visitors, vendors and participants. Despite the downturn, the event remains one of the largest 18th century events in the country and one of the largest festivals in Indiana.
The site of the park is about a mile from the actual location of the fort. This summer the Division of Historic Preservation and Archeology conducted a dig in a nearby location. They found the remains of burnt wigwams. Americans burnt the fort and nearby Indian settlements in the 1790’s in response to Indian raids.