53rd annual Fort de Chartres Rendezvous June 3-4

PRAIRIE DU ROCHER, Ill. (KFVS) - An annual, two-day rendezvous features shooting competitions, military drills, dancing, music and more in southern Illinois.

Visitors will be transported back to the 1700s on Saturday and Sunday, June 3-4 at Fort de Chartres State Historic Site’s annual rendezvous. Organizers say it’s the largest gathering of its kind anywhere in the Midwest, attracting many thousands to the site.

The event is free and open to the general public. Special event parking for the event is $5 a car.

According to organizers, opening ceremonies start at 10 a.m. each day and closing “retreat” ceremonies take place 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 handmade crafts, learn about French kitchen gardens and more.

The fort, including its historic Powder Magazine structure, is located at 1350 Illinois Route 155, 4 miles west of Prairie du Rocher, Ill. The site is operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Natural Resources.

Amber Ruch

Amber has worked at KFVS for eight years.