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Market fair begins today

April 28, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

BIG POOL

As his security systems kept watch over an empty tent, one artisan at a re-enactment encampment said he enjoyed life in simpler times.

Thanks to Phred and Charlie, David C. Kazmark of Spring City, Tenn., has peace of mind.

"That's my watch weasel, Phred, see, and Charlie's over there ... I tell kids they've got cameras in their eyes," Kazmark said, pointing to two stuffed minks hanging over a display of handmade leather ammunition bags.

Leather bags and belts, flintlock rifles, swords, knives, leggings, wooden shoes and long socks are among the wares visitors will see during this weekend's 18th-Century Market Fair at Fort Frederick State Park.

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According to Bob Weaver, president of Friends of Fort Frederick State Park Inc., about 125 sutlers are expected. The 12th annual event has drawn 3,000 to 5,000 visitors to the park in the past, he said.

Sutlers and campers at the market fair wear clothing and carry items belonging to a period from 1730 to 1790, Weaver said.

"That's basically when the fort was in business," Weaver said.

Thursday afternoon - set-up day for the sutlers - foot traffic past Kazmark's store was light. A chalkboard sign announced, "Welcome to Pepe's! Cheques and plastique accepted."

A military veteran and New York native, Kazmark, 60, said he enjoys portraying a more primitive lifestyle.

"Simpler times, lack of technology. You know, I was a nuclear technician in the Navy. I don't want no part of it anymore," Kazmark said.

Gene Palmer, 52, of Clear Spring, said he enjoys seeing the tools settlers used.

"I like the authentic quality of the merchandise," said Palmer, who pulled a wood-handled, leather-sheathed knife from the waist of his blue work pants.

For Nicholas Smith of Frederick, Md., the knives and swords also were a strong selling point.

Unfortunately, for the 12-year-old homeschooled boy, his mother, Stephanie Smith, was not as eager to take home a new blade.

"The one I wanted to get, she said it looked a little scary," Nicholas said as he, his mother, grandmother and three sisters left the fair.

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