Feast of the Hunters' Moon

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Fifers at the 2006 Feast

Feast of the Hunters’ Moon is a weekend festival and historical reenactment held each fall on the first weekend of October since 1968, at the present-day site of Fort Ouiatenon, a replica 18th century French military and trading post near West Lafayette, Indiana.

Site[edit]

Blockhouse replica at Fort Ouiatenon

The Feast is held on the grounds of the Historic Fort Ouiatenon Park, on the Wabash River,[1][2] the blockhouse is a replica of the original Fort Ouiatenon, which was the first fortified European settlement in what is now called Indiana.[3] The fort served as a French trading post and was located approximately one mile downriver from the replica.[4]

Program[edit]

During the festival, participants reenact the annual fall gathering of the French and Native Americans which took place at Fort Ouiatenon in the mid-18th century.[5][6] Participants dress in the garb of the 18th century French soldiers, settlers, and Native Americans who lived in this region.[7][8] Food vendors sell traditional period foods such as rabbit stew, voyageur stew, and venison sausage,[6][8] the program also includes music, marching, dancing and renenacted military maneuvers.[6]

Musical performances[edit]

As part of the event, various musical acts perform, including Native American drummers, historical folk music performers, French folksingers and period fife and drum corps.[7]

Living history presentations[edit]

The event includes historical reenactments featuring period characters from the 1700s to educate visitors about the lives and culture of the period.[9] One historical interpreter presented a Delaware Indian who first served as a scout for the French and whose people lived along the Wabash River in the 1700s and co-existed peacefully with the French at the outpost.[10] Others play traders and gunsmiths, such as "Pierre Rolletof" of French Scots-Irish descent who traveled along the Wabash River trading a range of items, including guns, and also gunsmithed as he traveled.[11] Other reenactors have demonstrated various period trades and crafts, including a chairmaker who built Windsor chairs to order, spending 40–45 hours per chair.[12]

Size and production[edit]

In 2004, the annual event drew over 8,000 participants and over 60,000 spectators,[7] the Tippecanoe County Historical Association, cooperating with the Tippecanoe County Parks Department, presents the event on a weekend in late September or early October.[13] The annual event ran for its 44th year in 2011.2017 marks its 50th anniversary and the 300th anniversary of the fort.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Maxfield, Thomas (September 25, 2011). "Getting to the Feast". Journal & Courier. Layfayette. p. A4. 
  2. ^ Dittman, Joan (September 21, 2011). "Feast of Hunters’ Moon this weekend". Post-Tribune. Merrillville, Indiana. Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  3. ^ "Fort Ouiatenon History," Tippecanoe County Historical Association
  4. ^ "Fort Ouiatenon," Tippecanoe County Historical Association
  5. ^ Bushnell, George (October 4, 1998). "A Feast for All Time Indiana Festival Traces History of Fort". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  6. ^ a b c "Full Feast Ahead". Journal & Courier. Layfayette, Indiana. September 23, 2011. pp. 11, 13. 
  7. ^ a b c Gisler, Margaret (2004). "Feast of the Hunters’ Moon". Fun with the Family Indiana (5th ed.). Globe Pequot. pp. 177–178. ISBN 978-0-7627-2978-4. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  8. ^ a b Borsky, Daniel (October 18, 1996). "The Feast of the Hunter's Moon". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  9. ^ Schaefer, Dede (October 1989). "The Feast of the Hunter's Moon". Outdoor Indiana Magazine. Indiana Department of Natural Resources: 26–29. 
  10. ^ Showalter, Max (September 25, 2011). "This is our land, This is our Home". Journal & Courier. Layfayette, Indiana. p. A4. 
  11. ^ Mack, Justin L. (September 25, 2011). "It's a challenging life". Journal & Courier. Layfayette. pp. A1 & A4. 
  12. ^ Mack, Justin L. (September 25, 2011). "It's about the simplicity of life". Journal & Courier. Lafayette, Indiana. p. A4. 
  13. ^ "Annual Feast of Hunter's Moon At Lafayette This Weekend". The News & Review. Brookston and Monon, Indiana. October 4, 2006. p. 11. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  14. ^ Showalter, Max (September 25, 2011). "Sunny skies draw large crowd to Feast opener". Journal & Courier. Lafayette, Indiana. p. C3. 

External links[edit]