Step 200 years back in time at the 30th Annual Fair at New Boston! Everything about this quality event creates the illusion of time travel to 1790 - 1810.

Your full day of historical adventure will begin with cheering and huzzahs as Revolutionary War hero General George Rogers Clark rides into the Fair on horseback.  Cannon fire will salute General Clark, Daniel Boone, and other heroes of the frontier, as they are formally welcomed at Opening Ceremonies. After the 15 star flag is raised over the Fair ground, stay around to hear food vendors brag about the quality of their delicacies and merchants urge the Fairmasters to stop by their booths. 

          Fairgoers will have a hard time deciding where to go next. There is so much to do and see!!

Artisans, and merchants

Explore the marketplace and unique shops that surround the public square. Find special treasures you will not find in regular stores. Pottery, herbs, dried flowers, handmade chairs, silhouettes, jewelry, books, lanterns, material, clothing of the frontier era and much more can be found in the tents and booths of more than three dozen merchants and artisans.  The tinsmith will be making lanterns, while the blacksmiths work on the necessary tools needed by everyone. The lace maker will be making lace while he tells of his need to hire children as indentured servants.

Entertainment

Need to rest your feet? Join the audience and share in the hearty laughter at the Cheapside Theater area. Can Dr. Balthasar’s elixir really cure all that ails you?  What will Mr. Bailey, the Magician, pull out of his hat next?

This year an 18th century play will be presented at noon both days.  “The Old Maid” is sure to entertain today’s visitors as it did Fair visitors 200 years ago.

Entertainment can be found throughout the Fair. Let the Clockwork Clowns amaze you.  The beautiful Slackrope Walker and cheery Fair Wynds have captivated visitors for years.   Singers and magicians set up in various locations and sometimes move around.  

Food and Beverages 

If you are thirsty beverages can be found in three taverns, The Black Horse, Little John’s, and the Hickory in addition to the Dancing Goats Coffee House, which is located right in the middle of everything.   In addition to lemonade, ice tea, a sarsaparilla, and bottle water, taverns also serve beer.  (Although we claim to be in 1799 - a 21st century ID is still required of guests!)

There is even a bigger variety of food available this year, so do come hungry to the Fair!   Pork chops, turkey legs, sausages, buffalo meat, chicken and noodles, bean soup, corn, peaches and pound cake, raspberries and cream, creampuffs, bread and butter, green beans and potatoes, and much more will delight even the pickiest eaters.    

Woodland Indian Village

After stuffing yourself, take a short walk down a forest trail to visit a Woodlands Indian Village of the time period. This is particularly appropriate since the Fair is on the former site of two Shawnee villages Peckuwe and Kispoko.  Handicrafts, games, and demonstrations of Shawnee, Mingo, Miami, Wyandotte, and other tribes are featured.

Heroes of Frontier return

At various times during the day, Gen. Clark, Daniel Boone, and other persons from the frontier will meet at the Fairmasters tent to tell about the Battle of Peckuwe, and other things that happened in this area.  A professional actor will portray each of the visiting frontier heroes.  Mel Hankala, from Kentucky Chautauqua will be Gen. George Rogers Clark. Daniel Boone will be portrayed by Steven Caudill, who has portrayed Boone on film. Bob Anderson, as descendant of a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition will portray his ancestor Private Shannon. Eva Lail will tell of her time in captivity with the Shawnee. Phyllis Wheately will read her poetry.  Having a photo taken with at least one of these frontier heroes will be a must!

Music and Dancing

Later in the Fairmasters tent the Liberty Dancers will demonstrate dances of the time period enjoyed by Washington, Jefferson, Clark and many of the founding fathers and mothers.  Visitors will be given an opportunity to join in an 18th century dance. 

Music was enjoyed in many different forms then as it is now. Relax in a colonial tavern while listening to music of the colonial era. Musicians playing violins, mandolins, guitars, and even bagpipes move from tavern to tavern. The coffeehouse is as center of entertainment and a quiet place where you can enjoy a game of checkers or chess. 

Battle Re-enactment and Cannon

          Thrill to the boom of the full-sized Revolutionary War cannon. The Mad River Light Artillery sets up there bronze British Light Weight Six-pounder at the top of the hill near the flagpole and militia encampment. This group will demonstrate cannon firing many times throughout the day. 

 Each afternoon features the excitement of a battle reenactment! The Fairs of the 1790 – 1812 time period sometimes featured reenactments of famous battles.  The reenactment features militia on foot and on horses, cannons, Shawnee warriors, and British troops. It always promises to be exciting.

Premier Living History Event

There is time after the battle to finish shopping, get something to eat and catch another of the entertainers. Be sure to see the closing ceremonies at the end of the day.  There is so much to do at the Fair at New Boston, that most visitors want to come back for a second day.  As Saturday’s visitors depart they will find that discount return tickets will be available at the gate.

Why is the Fair at New Boston recognized as a premiere living history event? All the music, entertainment, clothing, methods of cooking, foods served, merchandise booths, and equipment used by the artisans are juried (or judged) to assure authenticity to the period.  It is also special because it is held on an actual historic site.  The site of the Battle of Peckuwe and the Shawnee villages of Peckuwe and Kispoko and later the town of New Boston. All are now gone and are replaced by George Rogers Clark Park.

Directions, Admission, and contact information

You will find the Fair at New Boston just west of Springfield on State Route 4. Gates will open at 10 a.m. - and close at 6 p.m., Rain or Shine. (See “Directions” on this website for detailed directions.)

          Admission is $8 for adults, $3 for children aged 6-11, and ages 5 and under are admitted free. Admission for military active duty is $5 with ID.  No pets please.

Parking is free and plentiful. For further information call 937-882-9216 or email info@grcha.org.