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2019 Big Island Rendezvous and Festival

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Join the Big Island Rendezvous and Festival on October 5-6, 2019 at Bancroft Bay Park in Albert Lea, Minnesota in celebration of pre-1840s fur trade era history and early Frontier America (1750-1880) including the Civil War Era and Pioneer Settlement (1840-1800). Rendezvous is always the first Saturday and Sunday in October.

Big Island Rendezvous and Festival Entertainment:
The Big Island Rendezvous and Festival hosts different performance areas with music and dance continuously throughout both days. The entrance stage has a sound system adjacent to the food court area. The musicians minstrel around the grounds to give a more intimate performance to smaller audiences under the trees. Celtic, Bluegrass, Gaelic, old time country, gospel and Cajun music are some of the type of performances presented.

Big Island Rendezvous and Festival

Saturday: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Admission (includes all events and parking):
Adults: $14
Children (6-11): $8
Children 5 & Under: Free
Family Pass: $30 at the gate
Rain or shine event. Sorry, no refunds on advanced tickets. Admissions tickets can be used on any day or all the same day.

Event Location & Directions
Bancroft Bay Park in Albert Lea, MN.
Public is asked to park at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds and will be shuttled free of charge to the event.
Directions: Take exit 157 off of I-90, heading south on Bridge Street you will pass through three sets of stoplights. The fairgrounds will be located on the Right.
Contact Perry Vining at 1.800.658.2526 or

Arts & Crafts:
Properly attired re-enactors display and sell their wares at the Big Island Rendezvous and Festiva. Artisans from many states attend including craftspersons and crafts such as blacksmithing, candle making, weaving and spinning, silver smithing, copper working, woodworking, clothing makers, painters, stoneware and porcelain pottery, scrimshaw, gunsmithing, birch bark canoes and furniture building. All types of colonial period trades and products are sold and various skills of the artists are demonstrated each day.

Period Encampments:
Over 300 tents and campfires created 12 acres of atmosphere in which to shop and listen to the entertainment. Over 1,200 living history re-enactors carry on their day-to-day lifestyles, as it would have been done over 200 years ago in the New World. No modernisms are allowed on site so you see no vehicles or modern plastic tents. You literally step back in time into a wilderness of history.

Food & Beverage:
You will find food here that you would not find at home, such as the most popular kettle korn and fresh baked bread (baked on site), fry bread, homemade root beer, Stuffed baked potato with pork, cheese, onion and sour cream toppings, Pork Chop on a stick, Indian Tacos, beef, and funnel cakes. There is also wild rice soup, and smoked turkey legs, and the favorite pork chop on a stick.

Childrens’ Friendly:
All types of activities and excitement are there for the children to enjoy. There are theatre, games, drills, and ceremonies, voyageur camps, and tipi tours.

Big Island Rendezvous and Festival Mini Gallery

The Big Island Rendezvous is located in a city park in Albert Lea, Minnesota. All visitors park at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds and are taken by shuttle one mile to festival grounds. Take Exit 157 off of Interstate 90 (just west of Interstate 35) and go into Albert Lea and travel approximately 1 ½ miles and the Freeborn County Fairgrounds will be on your right at 1031 Bridge Avenue.

Historical Exhibits & Reenactments:
Native American tipis and wikiups and canoe camps will be highlighted. Period-attired characters of the 17th and 18th century will entertain you throughout the site including Benjamin Franklin and his wife and Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln in the Civil War area. 1880’s pioneer town with sheriff, jail, chuck wagon, gold panning, and doctor.

Parades & Drills:
Re-enactor strut and show-off around the grounds and create a very festive atmosphere.

Blackpowder Shooting Competition:
Marksmen from throughout the Midwest will compete for prizes. One type of event is shooting a lead ball (musket or muzzle loading gun) at an ax head and in ONE shot (one lead ball) the person hits BOTH targets set up on each side of the ax head.

Voyaguer Camp:
Listen to songs and challenge the voyageurs to cat and mouse; or see birch bark canoes.

Stage Entertainment:
RitcheParrishRitche (formerly Tanglefoot) from Canada, will be here to jam.

Big Island Rendezvous Education Days
The Big Island Rendezvous Education Days takes place on the Thursday and Friday before the Big Island Rendezvous & Festival is the Midwest’s Finest and Largest Hands-On Early American History Lesson. This two-day event is the “education days” part of the two-day Big Island Rendezvous & Festival that follows. View Big Island Rendezvous Education Days Details

Big Island Rendezvous and Festival

Mark your calendar today so you won’t miss the next Big Island Rendezvous and Festival on the first Saturday and Suday of October at Bancroft Bay Park in Albert Lea, Minnesota.

Tags: Big Island Rendezvous and Festival, Big Island Rendezvous, Big Island Festival, Minnesota Rendezvous, Minnesota Voyageur Rendezvous

View Big Island Rendezvous Education Days Details

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