Hoooowwl! It’s the Feast of the Hunter’s Moon

This year at the Feast of the Hunter’s Moon the rain did not stop the festivities; just made it a little cold and wet.  On September 24th and 25th The Feast of the Hunter’s Moon had travelers from across the United States and even Canada coming to the site. The fife, drums, and gun powder blasts were heard throughout the day especially near the Blockhouse.

The Blockhouse is the center and core of the feast. The site of the Blockhouse was an outpost for the French in 1717 called Ouiatenon. It housed twenty soldiers, a blacksmith, a chapel, and numerous French Traders who married into Ouia tribe next door. The traders and soldiers used the Wabash River to travel North and South. The French lost control after the French and Indian War when the British began to occupy the area;  they were ousted by Pontiac and finally, the Americans under George Rogers Clark replaced all others before him. The French traders remained until 1791 when the Americans burned the American Indian village and the remains of the post. The original site was rediscovered in the 1960s when the official feast began. Today the feast is a representation of the trading, craftsmanship, and celebratory traditions of the French and Indians.

The stages are teeming with interpreters and reenactors of all ages from the American Indian Dancers to the musical accompaniments of the fife and drum. A visitor could go to all the stages and see nothing else all day. Some top events to see are the Niagara River Iroquois, French Fashion Show, Pendragon Puppets, Newfoundland Program Dogs, and any of the Fife and Drum Corps. The best events to see if nothing else on stages are the Landing of the Voyageurs where the traders and American Indians come after being away all season by canoe and the march at the beginning of the morning where all the men and women parade to fife and drum music.  Check out the video links to see more at Chicago Museum Blog’s youtube website!

The food and drink were abundant at the feast this year. The beer in the tavern, apple dumplings, turkey legs, ham and beans and the french onion soup were just the starting of a good meal. The prices are decent, but after walking around the visitor can get particularly hungry and feeding two or more can become a bit pricy. I recommend eating dinner or late lunch after snacking at the Feast in Lafayette.

The children’s activities are just as fun as the food be sure to check out the Archeology Booth, Children’s Bead, Candle Making and Costume Try-On, and Trade Blanket tents. The encampments of the French, British, and Americans Forces are interesting. Many tents house the actors and interpreters who are most likely out making food, at the booths, or on the stage. Do not fret for the Voyageur Camp and the Wea Historic Living Village of Ouiatenon are good places to stop too. One piece of advice make sure the children can walk for most of the day; the Feast is not a site for wagons or strollers especially if there is mud.

The shopping and traditional craft tents have much in store for a first visitor’s eyes. Although, much that is on sale is more for the interpreters and reenactors at the Feast. There are still some good finds such as jewelery and American Indian crafts. I recommend browsing while filling your tummy from one of the nearby food vendors.

If the cold is getting to you or rain again next year a quick stop to take is to the Tippecanoe Battlefield Museum and Memorial. The museum houses artifacts from the battlefield and has an interactive map showing the events of the battle. Definitely a side trip worth taking.

Unfortunately, the Feast is only once a year. Next year the Feast will be on September 22 and 23rd. Tickets prices range from ten dollars to twenty-five for an all weekend pass. If you can not wait that long the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Tippecanoe is this year on November 5th and 7th.


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