Add Your Event

Please do NOT contact Crazy Crow about these events, except for corrections.
We provide these listings as a service, and we have nothing to do with the events. So you must contact the event sponsors for further information and validation of location, dates & times!
Loading Events
This event has passed.

2019 Des Plaines Valley Rendezvous

Rate This Event


Experience pre-1848 Chicago’s past at A River Thru History, The Des Plaines Valley Rendezvous on September 6-8, 2019 (Friday is School Day) at the Columbia Woods Forest Preserve in Willow Springs, Illinois. The Des Plaines Valley Rendezvous is an early American party with all the trimmings! Join this family-friendly festive gathering of fur trappers, settlers, craftsmen, and entertainers along the banks of the Des Plaines River. Enjoy a variety of activities such as authentic period food, music and entertainment, craft demonstrations, tomahawk exhibition and throwing competition, canoe races, games and much more!

Des Plaines Valley Rendezvous

A River Thru History, The Des Plaines Valley Rendezvous is a living history reenactment of early American life, as it was on the Illinois frontier prior to 1848 that emphasizes local history from the fur trade era to the canal era. The rendezvous creates an exciting, entertaining and educational experience for all ages, and for both participants and visitors. The event organizers worked to have the most authentic and highest quality reenactors and trade goods to reenact an accurate demonstration of a fur trade rendezvous of the period. This is consistent with the overall goal of the Illinois and Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor Civic Center Authority, which is to promote and enhance the historic, recreational and economic development of this new style National Park.

10:00 am – 2 pm Friday (School Day – not open to public)
10:00 am – 5:00 pm Saturday
10:00 am – 4:00 pm Sunday

Admission: (cash only accepted at the gate)
Children under 6 – FREE!
$5.00 Children 6 to 17
$5.00 Senior (over 62)
$10.00 Adults
$25.00 Family Pass (1 or 2 adults, up to 4 children age 6-12)
You will pay at the UPS employee parking lot before getting on one of the buses that takes you to Columbia Woods. Parking is free.

Des Plaines Valley Rendezvous Participants
A River Thru History is a living history event. New applicants: Pictures in period dress of your camp and sale goods, and a written description of what you do and the time period you represent are appreciated. A call or e-mail will go out to you upon receipt of your application form.

Participant Registration Form | Entertainer Registration Form

Des Plaines Valley Rendezvous Gallery Preview

View Full Gallery

School Day:
We invite you and your students to attend our “School Day” on Friday, the day before the public Des Plaines Valley Rendezvous at A River Thru History. (schools may stay an hour or so later if they like, however camps of the reenactors will begin to close at 2:00 p.m.).

School Day Details
A River Thru History – The Des Plaines Valley Rendezvous is a “living history” re-enactment of an event that would have occurred along the Des Plaines River prior to 1848. The Rendezvous participants are in historically accurate clothing and shelters. We expect to have over ninety encampments and demonstrators. The students, parents and teachers will be immersed in a rich discussion of history, social customs, and the skills and items that were necessary to survive on the frontier. The time period we encompass with the Rendezvous is from the period of early exploration, through the fur-trade era, to the early colonization of our area, approximately 1660 to 1848. This material is appropriate for most 4th, 5th and 6th grade classes studying American and local history. Our capacity is limited so participation in “Student Day” is by invitation only. We continue to direct our focus toward making this a truly educational event.

All students attending our School Day are free, including chaperones and teachers. We are proud to offer such a rich educational experience at no cost to area schools. Our Rendezvous is run by a non-profit organization and committee of volunteers; a suggested donation of $3 per person would be greatly appreciated from those who are able.

Each student will be given one free “student” pass so that they may return with their families on Saturday or Sunday when the Rendezvous is open to the general public.

If you have questions, please call 708-551-2509.

School Day” Registration Form

Food Vendors
There are a variety of food vendors at the Rendezvous. The food is similar to that eaten during the fur trade era – so you won’t find McDonalds – but you will find an interesting variety of foods such as grilled Ham and Cheese on Frye Bread,wild rice stew, kettle popped corn, ice cream, root beer, cider, etc.

Food Vendor Registration Form

Columbia Woods Forest Preserve
Willow Springs, IL 60527
There will be Free Parking in the UPS parking lot at Willow Springs Road and 75th Street. Enter from 75th St. There will also be a Free Shuttle bus to the Rendezvous site.

A River Thru History – The Des Plaines Valley Rendezvous
Columbia Woods, Willow Springs, IL

  • Set up begins 8:00 a.m., Wednesday
  • ONLY those camps that are officially registered will be allowed to set up.
  • Vehicles can be on site only to unload and must be parked in designated areas.
  • Golf Carts and drivers are provided by the Cook County Forest Preserve District. The District will require that you sign a liability waiver to ride in a cart, including shuttles up and down the entry road.
  • All trailers must be parked across the road from Columbia Woods. Ask the Booshway for directions.
  • Vehicles will not be allowed in camp between 8:30 a.m. and public closing time on Saturday and Sunday, nor between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday, School Day. § An exception to this will be for food vendors needing to restock after hours, but they need to remove vehicles as soon as possible.
  • Participants shall be in period dress at ALL times when the event is open to the public.
  • Dogs are allowed, but are NOT to be left unattended in camp, nor allowed to run loose or left in parked vehicles.
  • Wood and water are provided. We strongly urge you to bring extra water in case the water buffalos are dry.
  • Vendor signs are restricted to the area in front of your establishment.
  • During the evening hours, use good judgment and moderation. Please refrain from any activity that is disruptive to others.

A River Runs Through History: Des Plaines Valley Rendezvous

Mark your calendar today so you don’t miss the next Des Plaines Valley Rendezvous on the weekend after Labor Day at the Columbia Woods Forest Preserve in Willow Springs, Illinois.

Tags: Des Plaines Valley Rendezvous, Illinois Rendezvous, Illinois Voyageur Rendezvous

View other Illinois Rendezvous