This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Feast of the Hunters' Moon 2008

On Saturday, 9-27, we set off to visit the 2008 edition of the Feast of the Hunters' Moon. It celebrates life in an eighteenth-century French fort, at which each fall there would be a gathering of Indians and French fur traders. It is the biggest and most interesting of the area festivals.
Because there are so many people who attend, there is not enough parking in the area of the festival, and people are encouraged to park in a Purdue parking lot and take a shuttle bus to the grounds of the festival. This year the normal shuttle bus transportation was interrupted (by a lawsuit, according to someone in line with us), so we arrived to a very long line.
About fifteen or twenty minutes later we got on a church bus, because the area churches had volunteered their busses to provide transportation, and soon arrived at the festival. The nice volunteers even offered us candy and water while we waited in line.
There are many things to do at the festival. You can buy a wide variety of stuff, you can eat a lot of weird food that you would not normally eat, you can watch and listen to a variety of entertainment, and you can watch the people. We did three of the above.
Shortly after entering the grounds, we stumbled on a performance of two jugglers. They were good jugglers, but the best part of their performance was the chatter that they kept going--they were very funny. We then wandered over to the performance area by the reconstructed blockhouse, which may or may not be like an original building of the fort. Here is a picture of it, complete with a line of people waiting to get to an ATM machine.
This area had musical groups on stage pretty much continuously throughout the day. The groups specialize in older, historical music.
After listening to one group, we decided to try some buffalo burgers. (They tasted pretty much like regular hamburgers.)

We wandered into the eastern edge of the festival, which had a variety of historical exhibits.
The people watching here was excellent. I loved the way many of the visitors try to dress in costume. Some of them do not quite get it. My favorite outfit was a guy in a loin cloth. I wonder if I could use that outfit in some future trip to the festival.
We found more food. I tried buffalo stew. It was being cooked in big iron kettles.
Our wanderings continued. We saw a clown performance, with a small woman who was a contortionist. Again, very entertaining. Then we wandered over to the military drill field and watched part of a performance. This part of the festival was in the sun and hot, so we did not want to stay too long.
Along the way we encountered a group playing strings. I wonder if they performed somewhere on a stage. They were really good and I would have enjoyed hearing more from them. We wandered back to the Blockhouse arena and listened to two musical groups.
And then we decided it was time to start moving to the exit.
Along the way we again encountered the jugglers, and this time watched their entire act. When we got out the gate we found a much longer line than we had encountered at the start. After another 20 minutes in the queue, we boarded a bus, standing room only, and returned to the Purdue parking lot.

And here is a youtube clip giving some of the sounds:

(Updated video)

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