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Fair offers escape to 'a simpler time'

April 23, 1999|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

BIG POOL - History is alive this weekend at Fort Frederick State Park, as more than 1,600 enthusiasts live as their ancestors may have 150 to 250 years ago.

Cooking is done over an open flame. Water is kept in soft canvas buckets.

And leather leggings and moccasins are the norm, at least until the fifth annual Market Fair and Rifle Frolic ends Sunday afternoon.

"People get an idea of what it was like," said Terry Crawford, a member of the Patuxents, the group that organizes the four-day event.

Crawford, 54, said all the participants, who pay $15 to raise a tent near the fort, and those selling crafts and clothing, called sutlers, are required to appear as they would have during the 1700s and early 1800s.

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Randy Winoker, 40, in 1740s-era clothing came with some friends from Bedford, Va., for three nights of camping near the fort.

"It has taught me a lot about the way people lived. In school you learn the major dates and places, but here you learn the details of how they lived," Winoker said.

For example, they had to start fires with flint and steel and stay dry despite passing thunderstorms on Friday by wearing a cloth hunting frock made of thick layers.

John and Linda Gonzalez, who came up from Williamsport for the day, said they liked the peacefulness and history surrounding the market fair.

"It's an escape from technology to what seems like a simpler time," Linda Gonzalez said.

"And it's nice to be outdoors, even in bad weather," she added.

The fair continues today from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children ages 6 through 12. Admission is free for children younger than 6.

Money raised goes to the Friends of Fort Frederick State Park.

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