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. The boom of cannons, the smell of campfires and a parade of colorful uniforms will transport visitors back to the 1700s on Saturday & Sunday, June 1 & 2, 2024 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.

Photo by Ericha Anne Johanning

Opening ceremonies occur both days at 10 a.m., and closing “retreat” ceremonies take place at 5 p.m. This year the event will receive additional attention as Les Amis du Fort de Chartres welcomes to Saturday’s opening ceremony M. Yannick Tagand, Consul General of France in Chicago, and members of the French Heritage Society Chicago-Midwest Chapter. French Heritage Society Chicago-Midwest Chapter co-chair Lisa Kahn, will present to Jennifer Duensing, LAdFdC President, a plaque in honor of their donation to the recent Fort de Chartres Capital Project Campaign to repair the Fort de Chartres Land Gate area. This special opening ceremony accompanied by the Posting of Colors and period military parade will be held on Saturday morning, June 1, 10 a.m.

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.

The event is open and free to the general public with special event parking for this event just $5 a car. Donations welcomed. Fort de Chartres State Historic Site, which includes its historic Powder Magazine structure, widely considered the oldest building in Illinois, is located only an hour from downtown St. Louis, at 1350 IL Route 155, 4 miles west of Prairie du Rocher, Illinois. Take IL-3 to Ruma and then turn west on IL-5. Follow IL-155 through Prairie du Rocher to the site.

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We look forward to seeing you in 2024!