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Fort Frederick to host Market Fair

April 19, 2005

BIG POOL- The Maryland Park Service and the Friends of Fort Frederick State Park will host the 11th annual 18th Century Market Fair at Fort Frederick State Park on April 21-24. Admission is $4 per person; children 12 and under are free. Times for the Market Fair are:

· Thursday, April 21, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

· Friday, April 22, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

· Saturday, April 23, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

· Sunday, April 24, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Visitors to Fort Frederick State Park will meet more than 150 artisans, craftspeople and vendors who sell reproductions of 18th century items, including furniture, clothing, guns, powder horns and hunting bags. Most of the goods for sale are handmade by the vendors themselves, and many of these individuals will demonstrate their crafts.

"We are highlighting what the fort would have been like between 1730 and 1790," said Steve Robertson, Fort Frederick State Park historian. "These were the first 60 years that settlers inhabited the area and so the encampment will have a very exciting and energetic feeling of what was then a new venture."

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To give this event the flair of an 18th century fair, there will be magic shows, puppet shows, music and balancing acts that were popular diversions of the time. Add to this an encampment of 18th century re-enactors who will conduct live firing demonstrations of period weapons as well as demonstrations of 18th century life in the fort amidst a 1730-90 encampment. Interpreters will present continuous living history programs within the historic fort walls.

Fort Frederick State Park is in Washington County near Clear Spring and Big Pool, and is the home of Fort Frederick, Maryland's premier stone fort. It was built by the Colony of Maryland in 1756 to protect its western boundaries and as a base to attack French claims to the Ohio River Valley. In 1922, the fort became the first state park in Maryland. Currently Fort Frederick is an educational center for the study of the French and Indian War.

Historians say that Fort Frederick is the only remaining original French and Indian War stone fort in the United States. According to Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Tom Riford, "This will be an exciting four-day event at Fort Frederick. To see this authentic 18th century Market Fair will be a treat for the whole family." Fort Frederick has been called "Maryland's First Homeland Security."

Fort Frederick was refurbished during the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the park houses a CCC Museum. Additionally, the park is on the C&O Canal and towpath, and has its own picnic and camping areas, along with views of the Potomac River.

For more information about this event, contact the park at 301-842-2155, or visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/western/fortfrederick.html on the Web.

Directions: Fort Frederick State Park is in the Cumberland Valley, 18 miles west of Hagers-town and one mile south of Interstate 70 near Big Pool (Md. 56, Exit 12). The park is 88 miles from Baltimore and 81 miles from Washington, D.C.

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