Prairie du Rocher, IL
— Due to the current Illinois Department of Natural Resources State Park and Historic Site closures, Les Amis du Fort de Chartres announces the rescheduling of the 50th Annual Fort de Chartres Rendezvous that was to be held June 6 & 7, 2020. The new date of September 12 & 13, 2020 is announced, allowing for the reopening of Illinois state sites and a review of any new potential plans for state site fall events. Fort de Chartres State Historic Site’s annual Rendezvous, is the largest gathering of its kind anywhere in the Midwest. The event attracts many thousands to the site during this two-day special event. The event will be expanded this year, in celebration of its golden anniversary and in recognition of the 300th anniversary of the first Fort de Chartres. This annual event is presented by Les Coureurs des Bois de Fort de Chartres and sponsored by Les Amis du Fort de Chartres. The 50th Annual Fort de Chartres Rendezvous is made possible through the dedication of the Fort’s many volunteers and support organizations and through donations by businesses and individuals in our surrounding communities. Opening ceremonies occur on Saturday at 9 a.m. and on Sunday at 10 a.m., with closing “retreat” ceremonies to take place Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m. The Fort de Chartres Annual Rendezvous features 1700s military units, traditional craft demonstrations, period music and dancing – all from the time when France controlled what is now Illinois. Visitors can watch muskets and cannons being fired, throw a tomahawk, buy hand-made crafts, learn about French kitchen gardens, taste delicious food and much more. This year’s event also recognizes the 300th anniversary of the first of the four Fort de Chartres structures built and located in the strategic Mississippi River bottomland of Le Pays des Illinois. In celebration of this milestone anniversary and the important history it represents, a special ceremony will be held Saturday morning of the event following opening colors at 9 a.m. Fort de Chartres State Historic Site, which includes its historic Powder Magazine structure, widely considered the oldest building in Illinois, is located only an hour from downtown St. Louis, at 1350 IL Route 155, 4 miles west of Prairie du Rocher, Illinois. The site is operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Natural Resources. IDNR protects the state’s historic resources, which contribute to education, culture and the economy. IDNR sites include ancient burial mounds, forts and buildings erected by settlers, and homes connected to famous Illinoisans. For more site information, call Fort de Chartres State Historic Site at 618-284-7230 or visit www.fortdechartres.us. Les Amis du Fort de Chartres, “Friends of Fort de Chartres,” is a not-for-profit organization made up of volunteers striving to preserve, protect, and interpret the physical structural and cultural heritage of Fort de Chartres in the 1700s. More information about Les Amis du Fort de Chartres and its efforts sponsoring special events at Fort de Chartres, can be found at http://www.fortdechartres.us/les-amis-du-fort-de-chartres/ and at https://www.facebook.com/LesAmisduFortdeChartres/.