42nd Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous taking place May 26-27
By Lindsay Owens
The French Commons will be the place to be Memorial Day weekend when the 42nd Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous takes over the grounds.
Mark Hill, marketing director, said the first battle of four battles will feature a special guest this year.
“We will have activity on our battlefield at 1 p.m. Saturday featuring Richard Day as the Sieur de Vincennes and being saluted by the Tippecanoe Ancient Fife and Drum Corp and the Marines who will accompany him,” said Hill, adding advance buttons, good for both days, are available for purchase at area financial institutions for $9.
Once the Sieur wraps up his appearance on the battlefield, he and his followers will head to the Riverwalk where the Sieur de Vincennes statue will be unveiled at 2 p.m. The statue, created by Bill Wolfe, was made possible by the work of Joy Biggs and “Friends of Vincennes Heritage” committee. Biggs and the other committee members first unveiled the statue in 2015.
Other battles will take place at 4 p.m. Saturday and noon and 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
Merchants, food always part of Rendezvous
More than 100 merchants, including blacksmiths, silver smiths, weavers, and more, dressed in period clothing will also be selling their wares and demonstrating their craft.
If it’s food you’re heading to the Rendezvous for, Hill said many traditional favorites including buffalo burgers, pork chops, turkey legs, creek fried potatoes and desserts, will be available and there will be a new addition too.
“We have a new food booth by the Knox County Democrats,” said Hill.
The Democrat booth will be selling “donkey ears,” a type of fried bread.
“We will have a re-enactor portraying Martha Washington which will give us both the General (George Washington) and his wife gracing our grounds along with Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Franklin,” Hill said.
Activities aren’t just taking place at the French Commons. The Vincennes Historic Farmers Market will open Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will feature more than 40 vendors. Located at Second and Busseron streets, market vendors will be selling in-season produce, baked goods, crafts and more.
The festivities don’t stop Saturday when the grounds close at 6 p.m., either. Those wanting to take in a little more history can head to Grouseland, Governor William Henry Harrison’s mansion, and the Indiana State Historic Sites for candlelight tours.
The George Rogers Clark National Historic Park and the Vincennes Historical and Antiquarian Society will also sponsor its annual photo contest. Photos, which are often used on brochures and other promotional materials, should be taken during this year’s Rendezvous and must depict event happenings. Prizes will be awarded in several categories. Contest registration begins May 21 at the historic park, with the contest beginning May 25 and closing with the evening colors on May 26. For more information on the contest, call 812-882-1776.