Fair offers revolutionary wares

April 27, 2007|by KAREN HANNA

BIG POOL - A swashbuckling boy chased youths armed with wooden swords and plastic-capped guns at Fort Frederick, as artisans and smiths hawked their goods Thursday at the annual Market Fair.

On the rapscallion's feet were black Nike socks and shoes.

The 13th annual 18th-century vendors' fair opened Thursday with chilly weather at Fort Frederick State Park, where scores of craftsmen showed off their wares amid a Revolutionary War-era backdrop.

"I was a black-powder hunter, and I went to one of these events, and I was hooked. I said, 'This is what I want to do with the rest of my life," said 62-year-old Will Donaldson, who displayed a dandy's vest while talking to two fellow Revolutionary War re-enactors.

A tag on the garment said, "dry-clean only."

Dressed in tie-up, knee-high boots, Donaldson, of Mercersburg, Pa., said he was portraying an Eastern woodsman hunter, but he said planned to bring out his fancier duds this weekend.


At the House of Shine, where the wife of one of Donaldson's friends sells pewter goods, the Maxey family of Keedysville talked about dressing as pirates and Civil War soldiers and ladies.

"It's just fun to play dress up," said Andrea Maxey, whose husband, Fred Maxey, bought patterns and fabric for a pirate get-up.

Robert Anderson, 13, of Elizabethtown, Pa., said recreating history helps him appreciate the conveniences of modern life.

"It's pretty much thinking about how people wouldn't have been going back to their nice, warm house because they didn't have any. This is pretty much how they lived," said Robert, who was dressed in thin peasant's clothes and formless leather moccasins.

For Doug Bender and Ramona Lloyd, of Doylestown, Pa., the 18th century yielded some treasures, including a wheelbarrow and sword.

Bender, 42, said he and Lloyd, his wife, enjoy dressing in period clothing to recreate the Revolutionary War era. He said the couple furnish their 18th-century home with purchases from events like Market Fair.

"We come here every year and shop until we drop, or until the credit cards just vaporize," Bender said.

Bill Hoffman, of Wolfsville, Md., toured the grounds in modern clothes with his family.

"I think one of the interesting things is to see the craftsmanship - the craftsmen - to see them building, recreating objects from years ago. It's kind of a living-history museum," Hoffman said.

Outside the fort's massive walls, burlap cloaked the port-a-privies.

The 13th annual 18th Century Market Fair at Fort Frederick State Park runs through Sunday.

Admission costs $4 for adults; $2 for ages 7 to 12; children age 6 and younger are admitted free. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

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