Living in Central Indiana, we know all about historic reenactment, thanks to Conner Prairie and the Civil War Days. But a little farther down on the niche historic reenactment scale is the Mississinewa 1812 festival. Held this year, October 12 – 14, in Marion, Indiana (Grant County), this is the largest War of 1812 living history event in the United States.
Organized by the Mississinewa Battlefield Society, it commemorates the Battle of Mississinewa fought here in Indiana on December 17-18, 1812. This year is a special year, since it’s the bicentennial year of that fateful battle.
According to the Mississinewa 1812 website, visitors can visit
- Military Encampments: You can visit British and American military camps and see what life was like for British and American soldiers in 1812. Watch demonstrations of field drills, artillery fire, musket and rifle drills, and battle reenactments.
- Indian Village: Visit the largest reconstructed woodland Indian village in the US, including a picketed fort and a traditional long house. There will also be Native American legends who will share stories of their legends.
- Rivertown: Rivertown will play host to more than 140 merchants, artisans, and food sellers who will have goods and demonstrations of crafts, food, and drinks from 1812. There will also be reproductions of many 1812 items, including “fine yard goods, silver and tin ware, pottery, muskets and candles.” The food sellers will have English trap pies, barbecued chops, bratwurst, ribs, chicken, stews, baked potatoes, French pastries, and fry bread and ice cream.
- Wilderness Area: Meet longhunters, trappers, voyagers, in the wilderness camps along the river. Each camp will have demonstrations of fire starting, open fire cooking, and story telling.
- Traditional Crafts: Just like at Conner Prairie, there are tradesmen and craftsmen at the Mississinewa 1812. Printers, gunsmiths, tinsmiths, silversmiths, and blacksmiths will all be in attendance, as well soap makers, potters, and weavers.
- Music, Song & Stories: Finally, there will be entertainment from the first half of the 19th century, including period music, songs, and stories.
Single day tickets are $6 in advance, and $8 at the gate for adults, and $4 in advance and $5 at the gate for kids. Hours are 9 – 4 on Friday, 9 – 5 on Saturday, and 9 – 4 on Sunday. Handicap parking and restrooms are available, and there’s a free shuttle from Marion Justice Middle School on Saturday and Sunday.