The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s First State Heritage Park’s 18th Century Market Fair will allow visitors to leave the 21st century behind for a few hours free of charge from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 3 on The Green in Dover.
In the 1700s, The Green was the site of annual autumn market fairs. In past years at the fair, nearly 5,000 visitors chatted with living history characters, watched traditional artisans at work and enjoyed interactive performances with an 18th-century twist.
Signora Bella, the “Great Italian Equilibrist,” brings to life the tradition of the traveling performer in the 1700s, as she juggles knives and torches while balancing on a rope and a ball. Dr. Balthazar and his “Marvelous Miracle Medicine Show” will make an appearance. Rick Shuman will demonstrate how to use a spring pole lathe to young and old, as well as offering his wares for sale. Basket weaving, spinning and silhouette making are also among the trades visitors can see.
Professor Horn’s Punch and Judy Puppet Show will perform on the second floor of the Dover Century Club. Knightengale’s Rest will present glassblowing as a trade, as well as other sundry items. Learn about the tricks and techniques for making reproduction 17th- and 18th-century glassware and purchase some of his wares. The Lewes Historical Society will present 18th-century chocolate-making, along with samples.
Children can enjoy hands-on activities, engage in a military muster with the 1st Delaware Regiment or visit the free photo booth, where visitors can have their picture taken with props from the colonial era. Children will also have the opportunity to make slate buttons as was done in the 18th century.
Fiddler Rick Hudson will wander The Green as the Market Fair minstrel. The Dover English Country Dancers will demonstrate and encourage people to participate.
Modern day photographers can join in the competition to capture the best pictures in the Market Fair Instagram Photo contest. Winners will receive a 2019 Delaware State Parks Pass and the chance to be used in promotional material for Market Fair 2019.
The Dover Century Club will be transformed into the Market Fair Inn, offering pulled pork and chicken sandwiches, beef hot dogs, home-style soups, vegetarian chili, autumn treats and beverages for purchase. In addition, the club’s garden study group will sell handmade wreaths and table décor with all proceeds benefiting the club’s youth scholarship and building funds. Old World Breads from Lewes will offer treats for sale, including shortbread and molasses cookies.
For Nov. 4, the Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal St., Dover, will host “Happy Birthday, Biggs Museum” from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dover will also host Veterans Day parade through downtown. The Delaware General Assembly, the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs and the Delaware Heritage Commission will host a dedication for a new monument on the grounds of Legislative Hall honoring Delaware Women in the Military. The dedication will be held at noon following the parade.
For more, visit destateparks.com/history/firststateheritage.