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Fair at New Boston

September 3, 2013

The annual Fair at New Boston took place over a sunny weekend at George Rogers Clark Park outside of Springfield, Ohio.  Evoking an authentic American trades fair, featured participants included craftsmen, artisans, entertainers and militia units.

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Taking place on the site of what was the town of New Boston, the event brought together historic characters and ways of living from 1790 – 1810.  New Boston was built in 1809 on the town of Peckuwe, where Shawnee families were forced to flee by  Colonel George Rogers Clark (1752 – 1818) and his militia.

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The visual environment of the fair was incredible, from the recreated architecture of the Shawnee huts, to the artistic demonstrations of the festival’s vendors, including a huge camera obscura tent, portrait miniatures created in wax, and even the sensational demonstration of a hot air balloon.

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The fair brings together almost 600 costumed characters, almost all dedicated to historical accuracy in their roles at the festival.  Entertainment included battle reenactments, a traveling Medicine Man, a contortionist, a rope walker and even Shakespeare performances.

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I last visited the Fair at New Boston in 2004, when friends Katie Rose Wright and Paul Schenck (above) spent the weekend cooking up pork chops and corn for festival goers. Paul has since departed us, but his mad grilling skills will always be remembered.

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