Rendezvous to bring fascinating history alive

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All camp participants of the Prairie Villa Rendezvous are dressed in primitive, period attire, from adults to children. The 43rd annual event in Prairie du Chien will once again bring an educational glimpse into the region’s history. (Courier Press file photo)

The Big River Long Rifles will host the 43rd annual Prairie Villa Rendezvous June 14-17 on St. Feriole Island. Admittance is always free.

Lots of great foods like fry bread, kettle korn, homemade rootbeer, Indian tacos and much more are available for purchase. Trader’s row is filled with many period items to see and buy. 

The entire family can enjoy events such as the black powder gun shoot, children’s games, women’s games, primitive bow shoot, flint and steel competition and the knife and hawk throw for men, women and children.

The Rendezvous truly is a family-oriented, learning experience, portraying an educational part of the region’s history. 

Also, check out the flea market, the biggest in the area, where they have something for everyone. This year’s is organized by the Prairie du Chien Firefighters Association. 

Campers will begin to settle on the island Wednesday, June 13, when an invocation will take place that evening at the Sacred Tree located in the back section of modern camp.

The rest of the weekend, the Rendezvous opens to the public at 9 a.m. daily. 

On Thursday, the Rendezvous opens with ongoing demonstrations in blacksmithing, pottery making, storytelling and more offered throughout camp. The adult medallion hunt starts at 10 a.m.

On Friday, demonstrations continue rain or shine, as they will Saturday and Sunday too. Women’s games will start at 3 p.m. The flint and steel competition is at 6 p.m.

Saturday, Eric Scites Medicine Show and Flea Circus with One Thin Dime Museum will be available for everyone’s entertainment at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Richard Blackhawk will do music and storytelling at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. All attendees can participate in a kickball game from 3 to 5 p.m. The Pies-A-Plenty auction will be held at 4 p.m.

Wrapping up on Sunday, Scites’ show will again delight families at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Children’s games for registered campers will take place at 10 a.m. and the public is welcome to observe. Blackhawk will play music and tell stories again at 1:30 p.m. Camp will close for the weekend at 3 p.m.

Of course, there’s plenty for residents and visitors to do all weekend, on and off the island. The Prairie Villa Rendezvous will fill the community with people, pride and the past. 



Pies-A-Plenty auction: A slice of primitive life

Enjoy a slice of life this Saturday—that is, a slice of homemade pie reminiscent of the primitive days!

While enjoying the Prairie Villa Rendezvous on St. Feriole Island Saturday, June 16, stop by the Pies-A-Plenty auction at 4 p.m. and place a bid. Find your favorite or browse the enticing variety of fresh-baked desserts. 

The 16th annual auction, led by auctioneer Curt Kramer, will take place right next to the Jaycees Shelter.

Last year, the Prairie du Chien Historical Society members baked over 50 pastries for the Pies-A-Plenty event, which benefits the Fort Crawford Museum. Recognition will go out to the person whose pie brings the highest bid and to the person who bids the most for a pie. Be ready for a potential bidding war, as it can get rather competitive at the auction.

Don’t miss out on this delicious fundraiser.



Fire association hosting flea market, buffalo burger stand

The annual Rendezvous flea market, beer tent, musical entertainment and buffalo burger stand—formerly run by the Prairie du Chien Jaycees—will be run this year by the Prairie du Chien Firefighters Association. 

Over 100 vendors from across the country will come to the flea market on the south end of the Rendezvous grounds. The beer tent, in the same vicinity, will host Twisted Vision DJ on Friday, June 15, from 5 to 8 p.m., and live music by Challenger on Saturday, June 16, from 6 to 10 p.m.

The buffalo burger stand, located in the Jaycee Shelter on the north end of the grounds, will be open all weekend, serving up authentic buffalo burgers, brats, hot dogs and more. 

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