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Fort Frederick to host annual market fair

April 22, 2000

BIG POOL - The Maryland Department of Natural Resources State Forest and Park Service and Fort Frederick State Park will host the sixth annual Market Fair and Rifle Frolic next Thursday, April 27, through Sunday, April 30.

The event is sponsored by the Patuxents for the Friends of Fort Frederick State Park Inc. It offers visitors an opportunity to experience life as it was on the frontier from 1640 through 1840 and witness artisans, craftsmen and sutlers amidst a historical encampment.

Volunteer fort interpreters will present continuous living history programs within the historic fort walls on April 29 and April 30.

The park will be open:

Thursday from noon to 6 p.m.; Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, April 29, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Due to the size of the Market Fair, all access to the C&O Canal, Big Pool and campground through Fort Frederick State Park will be closed from April 25 at 3 p.m. through April 30 at 6 p.m. All areas will reopen May 1.

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Service charges for the event are $3 per adult, $2 per child ages 6 to 12 and free for children younger than 6. Proceeds benefit The Friends of Fort Frederick State Park Inc.

The state park is home to Fort Frederick, which was built in 1756 by the Colony of Maryland to defend its western frontier during the French and Indian War of the 1750s. The fort has been partially restored and is considered the best preserved pre-Revolutionary War British-built stone fort in North America.

Fort Frederick served as a supply base for English campaigns and a refuge for English settlers threatened by the French and their Indian allies. Named in honor of Maryland's lord proprietor, Frederick Calvert, Sixth Lord of Baltimore, the fort was erected by Gov. Horatio Sharpe and a contingent of provincial soldiers.

During the Revolutionary War, the fort saw service again as a prisoner-of-war camp for German and British soldiers.

During the Civil War, companies of the 1st Maryland Infantry, USA, occupied the fort to guard important points along the Potomac River. On Dec. 25, 1861, these troops drove back a Confederate attack.

The Friends of Fort Frederick is the largest of Maryland State Parks' 30 "Friends of " groups. These groups are independent, nonprofit organizations whose members help support and enhance Maryland State Parks. Since the group's inception in 1993, The Friends of Fort Frederick has contributed more than $50,000 to the park.

This event does not provide modern amenities such as paved walkways and flushing facilities. Be prepared for inclement weather and bring plenty of drinking water.

For individuals with disabilities, accessible parking will be at the closest point to the main entrance. The park will have attendants to assist with parking and to allow proper space between vehicles for lift use. Accessible restrooms also will be provided.

Fort Frederick State Park is one mile off Interstate 70, exit 12 (Md. 56), 20 miles west of Hagerstown. For information or to request disability accommodation, contact the park office at 1-301-842-2155 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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