18th Century Market Fair at Locust Grove

East Louisville

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In a Nutshell

Artillery fire reverberates from a battle reenactment as merchants sell 18th-century replicas & refreshments plus activities for all ages

The Fine Print

Promotional value expires Oct 28, 2012. Amount paid never expires. Limit 2 per person, may buy 2 additional as gifts. Valid only for option purchased. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

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Choose Between Two Options

  • $6 for fair admission for two adults (a $12 value)
  • $12 for family fair admission for two adults and up to four children aged 6–12 (up to a $24 value)<p>

Children 5 and younger are admitted for free.<p>

On Saturday, October 27, and Sunday, October 28, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Locust Grove comes alive with merchants—including 96 District Fabrics, Smoke & Fire, and Apple Cart Creations—celebrating the 18th century by selling period-appropriate clothing, pewter ware, handmade soap, and other items. During mock battles, General George Rogers Clark’s militia, British Dragoons and Marines, and German Hessians clash, with infantry and artillery out in force as indigenous Americans join the fray. Guests feast and drink in period fashion, then watch the Amazing Budabi Brothers juggle or visit the slack-rope walker and rat-catcher while listening to live music by Jack Salt and other performers.

18th Century Market Fair at Locust Grove

As dawn breaks over the campsite, soldiers begin stirring in their tents. Some tend to breakfasts over campfires while others see to the artillery. It's a scene straight from a Revolutionary War encampment—and that's exactly the way the reenactors intended it. Each year, roughly 200 of them flock to Locust Grove to camp out for two days, each of which ends with an artfully staged mock battle.

But when visitors come to the 18th Century Market Fair, they won't just find battle awaiting them. Artisans and craftsmen practicing authentic 18th Century trades set up shop on the grounds, hawking replicas of 18th-century military and household items. "This is the weekend when history is most alive at Locust Grove," says Brian Cushing. Cooks dish up stews, pies, and cornbread alongside wine, ales, and apple cider. Nearby, families and historical buffs alike cheer on jugglers, watch as women prepare meals in the colonial kitchen, and listen to live music. And it's not just adults and time travelers creating the history. "There's a lot of re-enactors of all ages," Brian says. "I think it's particularly fun for kids to see other kids running around in period costume."

The fair's grounds lend to the historical accuracy. William and Lucy Clark Croghan built Locust Grove in 1790, on 55 acres of rolling land. To this day, their original Federal-style house remains, with its separate kitchen, icehouse, spring house, and barn. Over the years, Locust Grove was inhabited by Revolutionary War commander George Rogers Clark and served as a stopping point for Lewis and Clark as they walked across America as part of an early Nike ad campaign.

Customer Reviews

Fun day with the family, lots of great items for sale, great to walk around and enjoy a look at an important part of history.
Kristine K. · October 31, 2012
It was a wonderful event overall! You all have done such a fantastic job renovating the house, and it was nice that it was open for all to go in and see. Also really loved the museum, which was done very well...very educational, well-presented, and loved the additional interactive components to it. I enjoyed seeing everyone in dress, loved all the different antiques and product vendors on the grounds, the tents, and people who dressed and spoke in period. The grounds were simply lovely. Would have liked to see more educational components if possible...just short 10-15 minute talks about what life was like during that time. Wish there had been more (and better) food vendors from that period. The beef vendor was overpriced for what it had...lots of rice with very little beef.
Audrey C. · October 31, 2012
Definitely go! You learn so much about history in such a fun way! A great family event.
Brenda W. · April 13, 2017

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