Press-Republican

September 1, 2012

Children's fair to portray 19th-century life

By ASHLEIGH LIVINGSTON
Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — Next weekend, children and adults of all ages will have the opportunity to experience life as it was in the North Country nearly two centuries ago. 

On Sunday, Sept. 9, Plattsburgh’s Macdonough Monument Park and the sidewalk along City Hall Place will be transformed into the second-annual Children’s Old Time Village Fair, complete with the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the 19th century. 

The fair, which is part of the annual Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration Weekend, will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature educational activities for the whole family. 

The “idea is to have a quality activity for children and families during the Commemoration Weekend,” said Linda Ward, chairperson of the Village Fair Committee, in an email to the Press-Republican. 

While much of the weekend festivities will focus on the military history of the 1814 battle, the Children’s Fair will provide a glimpse of the practices and pastimes of civilians. 

“We want children to know how people lived during that era,” Ward said. 

The fair’s village atmosphere will be created using tents, she said, and each tent will offer a unique and interactive display or activity. 

Attendees will be able to purchase and enjoy old-fashioned treats while browsing the antique fire trucks, bicycles, clothing, dolls and teddy bears on display. 

In addition, the fair will  feature children’s crafts and games, as well as demonstrations, including apple pressing, the use of farming tools, quilting, 4H practices, woodcarving and old-time medicinal treatments.

Petting zoos, face painting and horseback riding will also be available. 

All fair activities are free, Ward said, with the exception of the horseback riding and some of the crafts, which will cost a small fee to participate in. 

Also part of the festivities will be live performances by musician Tom Hooker Hanford. 

At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Hanford will fill the air in downtown Plattsburgh with music of the 1800s in his “Girls and Boys of Old 1812” shows. 

Other event highlights include the Plucky Rooster Contests and the Story Walk. 

The Rooster Contests challenge local groups to create larger-than-life statues of “Plucky Rooster,” using just about any material they can get their hands on. 

The original “Plucky” was a rooster that inspired American sailors aboard the U.S. ship Saratoga during the Battle of Plattsburgh. 

Legend has it that the rooster flew unharmed out of a chicken coop aboard the ship despite the coop having been hit by a cannonball. 

The contest entries will be on display in Trinity Park during the Children’s Fair. 

The Story Walk, which is based on a book created by Cumberland Head Elementary School students, tells the history of the Battle of Plattsburgh using kid-friendly terms. 

The walk leads to various locations in downtown, using a different part of the book to tell the battle story at each location.  

“This is a very special activity,” Ward said. 

Email Ashleigh Livingston:

alivingston@pressrepublican.com

TO LEARN MORE For more information about the Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration Weekend, visit battleofplattsburgh.org.