Heritage Corridor CVB to host ‘A River Thru History’ this weekend
Past comes alive at fur trade era reenactment
9/2/2013, 6 a.m. | Updated on 9/3/2013, 12:20 p.m.
Families looking for a variation on the theme of a family activity look no further. Parents, grandparents and kids will enjoy taking a voyage back in time to the era of Fur Traders at the “River Thru History” Des Plaines Valley Rendezvous scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 7 and Sunday, Sept. 8, in nearby Willow Springs. The Rendezvous, which takes place at Columbia Woods in Willow Springs, typically draws more than 3,000 people to the two-day Fur Trade Era Re-enactment.
Open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8, the unique event is free to kids under 6 years of age, $5 for seniors, and $8 for adults (cash only). A family pass is available for $20. Parking is free at the UPS Employee Parking Lot at 75th and Willow Springs Road (enter off of 75th Street), from where busses transport guests to the Columbia Woods Forest Preserve.
“A River Thru History” recreates the history of the Chicago area during the fur trade era before Chicago became a city.
“This is one of the best annual events along the Heritage Corridor, as it captures that magical combination of history and entertainment so well,” Bob Navarro, president and CEO of the I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau, said.
He encourages families, history buffs and educators to take part in this unique reenactment that offers heritage with a twist. It is a reenactment of the adventures of Louis Joliet (whom the city of Joliet was named after) and Pierre Marquette.
“The past comes alive around you in a combination of history, storytelling, music, food and festivities,” said Navarro, whose Heritage Corridor CVB is a partnering sponsor. “The location is convenient for folks coming from the City, as well as south and northwest suburbs, and with the weather outlook great, we're expecting a great turnout for a great event.”
Participants will meet fur traders, craftsman, pioneer musicians and entertainers as they gather along the banks of the Des Plaines River for this annual American celebration. There will b e craft demonstrations, a children’s trading post, live animals, storytelling, Native American games, Blue Celtic Grass music, skillet toss, and fun for the whole family. Food Vendors will be serving a variety of food similar to what was eaten during the fur trade era including kettle corn, wild rice stew and root beer.
Long-time volunteer coordinator, Mark Bosse, who is also part of the Civic Center
Authority, has been working with a dedicated team of planners and history enthusiasts to make sure every detail is tended to.
“We love watching visitors – young and old – take in all that we offer,” Bosse said. “We work hard to make sure there is something for everyone as we help the past come alive before their very eyes.”
Nearly 200 volunteers comprise the 50 camps of historical reenactors to bring the events of the fur trading era to life. The early history of the 12 towns – from Lyons to Lemont – which comprise the I&M Canal Civic Center Authority, are highlighted in a unique fashion that draws thousands each year.
This event is sponsored by the I & M Canal National Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau, in partnership with the Civic Center Authority, Forest Preserve of Cook County, and the Village of Bedford Park.