Two-day Voyageur Rendezvous starts Saturday

2013-05-14T20:04:00Z 2013-05-14T20:42:07Z Two-day Voyageur Rendezvous starts SaturdayMelanie Csepiga Times Correspondent
May 14, 2013 8:04 pm  • 

HEBRON | Three centuries ago, French-Canadian fur traders and native Americans plied the waters of the Kankakee River.

For 27 years, Grand Kankakee Marsh County Park has been host to the annual Voyageur Rendezvous where French-Canadian voyageurs, their  American Indian counterparts and British and French militia as well as settlers converge along the riverbank.

This year, visitors can take in the sights and sounds of long ago when re-enactors present the Voyageur Rendezvous, the18th century fur trade era, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $3 per person with children 7 and younger free.

Sandy Basala, of the sponsoring Lake County parks, said the voyageurs' arrival by canoe from around the bend in the river is a popular feature as is the trading session between the American Indians bearing furs and the voyageurs.

As children cross the bridge to arrive at the event, they can pick up a "See and Do Scavenger Hunt" list at the Children's Trading Post adjacent to the admission booth. Once completed, youngsters can use it as currency to get trinkets at the post. "It's a fun and interactive way to experience history," Basala said.

The relaxing event allows visitors to browse the camps of participants who often demonstrate old-fashioned skills such as hewing wood and beadwork as well as latter day games for kids.

Hot foods and sarsparilla and more is available for purchase.

Visitors can test their skills at the popular tomahawk throw and enjoy a fashion show of costumes of the day.

For a detailed schedule of activities each day, go online to

Grand Kankakee Marsh County Park, part of the Lake County parks system, is at 21690 Range Line Road, Hebron. Those attending should go east on Ind. 2 from the Interstate-65 and Ind. 2 interchange. Go south on Clay Street, also known as Range Line Road, for five miles.

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