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2018 Grafton Rendezvous


Join us for the annual Grafton Rendezvous on October 20-21, 2018 at Grafton, Illinois on the banks of the Illinois River. See pre-1840 history come to life at the Grafton Rendezvous with period dress and demonstrations of archery, tomahawk and knife throwing and traders selling items of the period. The Grafton Rendezvous, presented by the Free Trappers of Piasa Territory, is family-friendly, so bring ’em all and enjoy the fun!

Events include: Black Powder Shoot, Hawk & Knife Throw, Primitive Bow Shoot, Artisans/Traders, Authentic Foods, Children’s Activities Time, Period Music, Raffle.

The Grafton Rendezvous celebrates the French Fur Trading era which began after Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette journeyed through the area in 1673 and ended around the time when Grafton was established in 1838. The fur trade was the primary reason for the exploration of the American frontier and this enterprise was spurred on by the demand for pelts which were used to make the very expensive and extremely popular felt hats that were fashionable in Europe from 1550 to 1850. The fur trade began to decline when Europeans began to prefer silk hats and the beaver population began to decline. Although its influence isn’t directly apparent, the fur trade had a profound effect on the growth of the European influence on North America. Routes trail blazed by fur trappers became the routes followed by the pioneers and fur trading outposts like St. Louis became cities.

The Grafton Rendezvous is a great place to either participate in the activities or just to experience some of America’s past firsthand. If you have any questions about anything you see, just ask one of the reenactors. They have spent much time researching their persona, and most are happy to share what they know. The Grafton Rendezvous is located on the Grafton waterfront at the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. Parking is plentiful and downtown Grafton is an easy walk from the site.

Public Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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