Update from Fort de Chartres Site Superintendent Shawn Chesnek:

IDNR press release

Effective Immediately: Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Closes All State Sites

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To further prevent the spread of COVID-19, and in accordance with the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation issued on March 9, 2020, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced the closure of all state parks, fish and wildlife areas, recreational areas, and historic sites as well as the cancellation of upcoming scheduled events.

IDNR will work tirelessly with the Governor’s office and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to provide information as to the schedule for safely reopening our facilities.

All Illinoisans impacted by a cancellation or closure are encouraged to call the IDNR’s Parks Administrative Information Line Monday – Friday at 217-782-6752. A complete listing of state sites can be found on the IDNR website at https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/Parks/Pages/default.aspx or https://www2.illinois.gov/…/Experi…/Sites/Pages/Default.aspx.

For more information on COVID-19, visit the IDPH website at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/. You may also contact the IDPH at DPH.SICK@Illinois.gov or call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-889-3931.

Colonial Trade Faire and Musket & Rifle Frolic, April 4 and 5, 2020 and Kids’ Day, May 2, 2020 have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions. IDNR will update with any new site information as we progress through the weeks ahead. Les Amis du Fort de Chartres thanks everyone for their understanding and patience and we wish for everyone’s continued health and safety during this time.


2020 Fort de Chartres State Historic Site Special Events

at  Fort de Chartres State Historic Site, at 1350 IL Route 155, 4 miles west of Prairie du Rocher.

For Special Event information, email lesamisdufortdechartres@gmail.com

For site information, call (618) 284-7230.


April 4-April 5, 2020

Colonial Trade Faire and Musket & Rifle Frolic, April 4 and 5, 2020


It is with our deepest regret to inform you that due to current IDNR site restrictions in relation to the Coronavirus, the April Trade Faire at Fort de Chartres, April 4th & 5th, 2020 is cancelled this year. The Kaskaskia Company greatly apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause. We were really looking forward to seeing everyone this year, guess it will have to wait another year unfortunately.

Please stay tuned for further details on event refunds. Thanks.-The Kaskaskia Company

April Trade Faire

Fort de Chartres Colonial Trade Faire and Musket & Rifle Frolic

Saturday, April 4, 10 AM-5 PM

Sunday, April 5, 10 AM-3 PM

The Colonial Trade Faire is a JURIED living history event for participants depicting the Illinois Country ca. 1750-1790.

The Trade Faire, features costumed historic interpreters, shooting matches, and period games, with reproduction period goods sold by craftsperson and merchants. The Colonial Trade Faire is hosted by the Kaskaskia Company.


Kids’ Day 2016 Rope Making EJ

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Kids’ Day-Saturday, May 2, 10 AM-4 PM Cancelled

Kids’ Day features 18th century games, contests and crafts for children. FREE to the general public.

Volunteer Interpreters will be on site to allow kids their hand at 18th century rope making, archery, games and other activities. Kids can enlist to be a Fort de Chartres French Marine and can take a chance at becoming King or Queen by finding the bean in the Kings cake! All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times. Concessions will be available for sale throughout the day. The event is open and free to general public.


2015 June Rendezvous

Saturday & Sunday, June 6 & June 7, 2020-Rescheduled!

New dates:

The 50th Annual Fort de Chartres Rendezvous

Saturday, September 12, 9 AM-5 PM

Sunday, September 13, 10 AM-5 PM

The two-day popular annual Rendezvous, usually held the first weekend in June, features shooting competitions, military drills, dancing, music, food, and traders of eighteenth-century-style goods.

Downloadable Flyer

Prairie du Rocher, IL — Due to the current Illinois Department of Natural Resources State Park and Historic Site closures, Les Amis du Fort de Chartres announces the rescheduling of the 50th Annual Fort de Chartres Rendezvous that was to be held June 6 & 7, 2020. The new date of September 12 & 13, 2020 is announced, allowing for the reopening of Illinois state sites and a review of any new potential plans for state site fall events.

The boom of cannons, the smell of campfires and a parade of colorful uniforms will transport visitors back to the 1700s on June 1 and 2 at Fort de Chartres State Historic Site’s annual Rendezvous, the largest gathering of its kind anywhere in the Midwest, attracting many thousands to the site during this 2 day special event. 2020 heralds the 300th anniversary of the first wooden Fort de Chartres and  300th Anniversary special ceremony is to be held at the Rendezvous on June 6. Dignitaries, campaign donors, and other supporters across the state and nation will be in attendance. Click on the 50th Annual Fort de Chartres Rendezvous page located on this website for event updates.

The Rendezvous features 1700s military units, traditional craft demonstrations, period music and dancing, black powder shooting events and cannon firings – all from the time when France controlled what is now Illinois. Visitors can try their hand at throwing a tomahawk, buy hand-made crafts, learn about French kitchen gardens, and watch swordsmen duel, taste delicious food and much more. This event is hosted by Les Coureurs des Bois de Fort de Chartres and sponsored by Les Amis du Fort de Chartres, with additional site support from the Illinois Historic Preservation Division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The event is open and free to general public with special event parking for this event just $5 a car. Donations welcomed.


July 2017 Cannon Shoot Photo by Ericha Johanning

Saturdays, July & August 2020 Cancelled

18th Century Cannon Demonstration

10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Members of the French Colonial Artillery will be on site at Fort de Chartres to explain the 18th century history of artillery. They will be available to demonstrate the techniques used to fire a cannon and will explain the role that artillery played at Fort de Chartres.


Jennifer & Jason Duensing Summer Ball 2016

Saturday, July 18, 2020 Cancelled

Friends of the Fort Summer Ball  

Saturday, July 20, 7 PM-10 PM

Location Cancelled

Suggested donation of $20 a person and all funds raised will go directly to the not-for-profit support organization, Les Amis du Fort de Chartres, which supports improvement projects at Fort de Chartres State Historical Site.

Les Amis du Fort de Chartres is hosting the fundraising event “Friends of the Fort Summer Ball”.  Eighteenth century music and dance calling will be provided by a live band. Period dress encouraged but not required. This event is open to all. Let’s gather together for some midsummer fun, have a great time while supporting our Fort.


2016 Cannon School

Fort de Chartres Muzzle Loading Black Powder Artillery Safety School TBA

Artillery Re-enactors participate in yearly safety training and demonstrate live cannon firing.

Training runs 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday. Hosted by the French Colonial Artillery from the Holy Family Militia. For more information on how to register for this event, click on flyer on the right or email jimchest@yahoo.com


Photo provided by Ted & Dianne Mueller

Saturday & Sunday, October 10 & 11, 2020

Fort de Chartres French & Indian War Encampment and Competition

Saturday, October 10, 10 AM-4 PM

Sunday, October 11, 10 AM-2 PM

1750s historically dressed Native American, soldier, militia, and camp follower re-enactors participate in everyday camp activities and military drills. This event is presented by Les Amis du Fort de Chartres. 2019 event schedule is available by clicking on flyer to the right.



Winter Rendezvous 2016

Saturday & Sunday, November 7 & 8, 2020

Fort de Chartres Winter Rendezvous & Woodswalk

Saturday, November 7, 10 AM-5 PM

Sunday, November 8, 10 AM-3 PM

WR poster design by Mitch Lopata, Lopata Design

This event features 18th and early 19th century camp life and re-enactors who participate in a muzzleloader woods walk shooting competition.

Fort de Chartres State Historic Site presents a weekend of colorful clothing, hand-made crafts, period music and delicious food when the annual Winter Rendezvous returns November 2 & 3.

Soldiers, trappers, traders and Native Americans (as portrayed by historic re-enactors) will gather at the rendezvous. They’ll trade goods, buy supplies, and some will take part in a shooting contest that requires them to walk through the woods and fire flintlocks at pop-up targets.

The rendezvous is fun both for the participants demonstrating frontier life from 1700 to1820 and for visitors spending an autumn day wandering among the tents, campfires and historic French colonial fort. The event is open and free to the general public.   This event is hosted by Les Coureurs des Bois de Fort de Chartres and sponsored by Les Amis du Fort de Chartres. Please check the Winter Rendezvous page of this website for an event flyer, participant and/or event rules information, and for any relevant event updates.


La Guiannee at Fort de Chartres

Thursday, December 31, 2020

La Guiannee at Fort de Chartres

Thursday, December 31, 7 PM-9 PM

The Prairie du Rocher La Guiannee visits the site to play period music and sing. 

In a traditional New Year’s Eve celebration dating back to 1722, the La Guiannee singers will visit houses and Fort de Chartres in the early French town of Prairie du Rocher and sing for the residents. As part of the tradition, the residents provide refreshments for the singers at each stop. It is cosponsored by Fort de Chartres, Les Amis, and the Prairie du Rocher La Guiannee Society. The event is open and free to the general public.


The not-for-profit all-volunteer support organizations, Les Amis du Fort de Chartres and Les Coureurs des Bois de Fort de Chartres, will sponsor the Fort de Chartres State Historic Site special events in 2019 and will cover the event expenses that were previously covered by the state in an effort to keep the Fort and the surrounding area’s businesses vital and alive with activity. Les Amis was very grateful for all the donations given to our Les Amis du Fort de Chartres Special Events 2016,  2017, and 2018 Giving Campaigns, corporate gifts and individual donations allowed Les Amis to successfully sponsor recent Fort de Chartres special events. Les Amis looks forward to working with many of the Fort’s other support organizations, along with our special event donors, enabling us to sponsor special events.

DONATE to our Les Amis du Fort de Chartres 2020Special Event Events Giving Campaign!

Les Amis du Fort de Chartres 2020 Special Events Giving Campaign downloadable form available by clicking here.


We sincerely thank our Les Amis du Fort de Chartres 2020 Special Events Corporate Giving Campaign Sponsors as of 4/20/2020

$1000 Gold Level

Buena Vista National Bank, with Branches in Red Bud, Evansville, Chester, & Prairie du Rocher


$250 Bronze Level

First National Bank of Steeleville

Harrisonville Telephone Company (HTC)

The Material Works


$100 Copper Level

MAR Graphics

Red Bud Industries, Inc.



For more information concerning Fort de Chartres 2020 Special Events, email lesamisdufortdechartres@gmail.com.

For additional Fort site information, contact (618) 284-7230