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Ohio military history comes alive at Fort Fest in Fort Jennings

1812 Battle Re-enactment
1812 Battle Re-enactment

There is a multitude of fun, family-friendly historical and educational activities awaiting all who venture to the annual Fort Fest being held in Fort Jennings, Ohio on Friday, August 15 and Saturday, August 16 as the small town commemorates the role it played in the War of 1812.

A Bit About Fort Jennings Located along the banks of the Auglaize River, the original fort was built by Colonel William Jennings (the leader of a regiment of Kentucky riflemen) who was ordered by General William Henry Harrison to build a road in the area and to establish a fort. During the War of 1812, boats, wagons, army stores and troops passed through Fort Jennings en route to major battle actions.

Fort Fest Paying tribute to Fort Jennings' rich military history, Fort Fest will feature demonstrations by the 2nd Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Militia, tours of a military encampment and village and a 1812 battle re-enactment on Friday at 8:30 p.m. and an 1812 and a Vietnam battle re-enactment on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Activities at Fort Fest include horse-drawn history tours and a chance to see the Lima Company "Eyes of Freedom" display and the Ohio MIA/POW Wall.

In honor of all military eras, Fort Fest will also feature military vehicle/equipment exhibits, a military vehicle procession and a tribute to the Unknown Soldier.

One featured attraction at Fort Fest is the chance for visitors to take a ride in a real HUEY 369 helicopter.

Fort Fest also offers a car show, duck races, a craft show, a bounce house for the kids, a Poker Run, a Water Ball Challenge (at the Fire Station at 1 p.m. on Saturday) and Wine Tasting (at Memorial Hall from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. on Friday).

Free musical entertainment will be provided by Nashville Crush and there will also be DJ entertainment.

There will be plenty of beverages and food available for purchase including BBQ chicken dinners at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Hours for Fort Fest are noon - 10 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free.

For more information about Fort Fest call 419-286-2600 or get online at

Fort Jennings Park is located on State Highway 189 in Fort Jennings, Ohio. It is approximately a 3 hour drive from Cleveland.

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