Fall River State Park to Host Rendezvous

Fall River State Park to Host Rendezvous

TOPEKA – The public is invited to step back to the early 1800s at the Fall River Mountain Man Rendezvous. The event is modeled after the historical gatherings of Rocky Mountain trappers, Native Americans and traders where they would demonstrate their skills, sell furs and trade goods.

The 16th annual Fall River Rendezvous will be at the park’s Fredonia Bay campground on Saturday, Sept. 29, from 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. It’s also National Public Lands Day, and the park will offer free admission that day to help celebrate both the rendezvous and America’s millions of acres of public lands. Period reenactors will set up campsites and trading tents to give visitors a realistic rendezvous experience.

Kim Jones, Fall River State Park manager, said the day will feature a black powder shooting contest between the estimated 150-plus reenactors that shoot in clothing, and with gear, appropriate for the era. After the competition, the public can shoot muzzleloaders with the reenactors or learn to throw tomahawks.

Children can be part of a “gold rush” search for gold-colored rocks that can be traded for prizes. A “candy cannon” will shoot treats to kids. The public is encouraged to wander among the 50-75 era-accurate encampments pitched by participants. Many will give demonstrations on such ancient arts as blacksmithing, primitive cooking, natural plant weaving, beading and hide tanning. Concessions will be available for breakfast and lunch, and traders row will have historical goods for sale.

Jones said many reenactors will show up as early as the 27th to pitch their encampments and visit with others who share the same historical interests.

For information on participating as a reenactor, contact Kim Jones at (620) 432-4868. For information about the park, visit ksoutdoors.com/Fall-River-State-Park.