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Founder’s Weekend this Saturday and Sunday

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The 18th Century will be brought back to life on the shores of the St. Lawrence River in Ogdensburg during the Fort La Presentation’s Founder’s Weekend this Saturday and Sunday.

Founder’s Weekend re-enactment and colonial trade fair commemorates Ogdensburg’s French colonial history and the 1760 French and Indian War Battle of the Thousand Islands.

The annual Founder’s Weekend will take place July 19 and July 20 as part of the 54th annual Ogdensburg International Seaway Festival.

“It’s a joint effort that benefits the entire community of Ogdensburg,” Seaway Festival Chairman Christopher S. Cole said of the partnership.

Saturday and Sunday the fort’s gate opens at 10 a.m. Adult admission is $7.

“Thanks to the New York State Council for the Humanities. we have 11 special presenters this year,” organizer Michael Whittaker said Wednesday.

Visitors will experience colonial spinning and belt weaving, the plaiting of reed baskets, quilting and presentations on 18th-century weapons and period clothes among the interesting discoveries to be made.

“Every year there is something different,” Mr. Whittaker said. “This year we will have a presentation about clothing of the 18th century which is something we have not done before. That will tie in nicely with the period quilting demonstration. We will also have spinning and weaving demonstrations, but people will be able not only to sit on a talk but be able to see people working at different elements of the construction of clothing, such as traditional belt making.”

From the native perspective, Rick Salazar will talk about legends, lore and the history of the Iroquois and the Akwesasne Choir will sing traditional hymns in the Mohawk language at the outdoor Sunday mass.

“A number of re-enactors like to talk, so people should not be shy about going through the camp and speaking to them,” Mr. Whittaker said. “There will be re-enactors from all over-New England, New York, Pennsylvania and Quebec. They say they like to come to Ogdensburg because the organizers of Founder’s Weekend take their needs and interests into consideration. They don’t feel like they are on display they feel like they are actively engaging the public in the history of the time period.”

Sunday, July 20 is Family Day at Founder’s Weekend re-enactment and colonial trade fair on Ogdensburg’s Van Rensselaer (Lighthouse) Point. Youth 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Here’s a look at the schedule of events:

Saturday:

10 a.m.: Gates Open

10:30 a.m.: Bateaux Race

11 a.m.: Water Battle Begins

11:30 a.m.: Children’s Muster

Noon: Historical and Timeless Tales with Linda Russell

12:30 p.m.: 18th Century Fishing on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River with Brian McDonald

1 p.m.: Synopsis of the French and Indian War with Jack Frost

1:30 p.m.: Land Battle Begins

2:30 p.m.: Children’s Muster

3 p.m.: Native American Culture with Rick Salazar

4 p.m.: Book Signing “The Spike Tomahawk” with Jack Vargo

4 p.m.: English Century Dance Demo

4:30 p.m.: Life at Sea in the 18th Century with Sarah O’Connor

5 p.m.: Gates Close

7:30 p.m.: 18th Century Ball

Colonial trades, Camp Life, Drills, Demonstrations & Exhibits throughout the weekend; Scavenger Hunt for kids.

Sunday:

Children 12 and under free when accompanied by a paid adult on Sunday

7:30 a.m.: Mass, Lighthouse Point with Akwesasne Choir. Bring your own chair. On-site parking for the service.

Rain Location Notre Dame Church

10 a.m.: Gates Open

11 a.m.: Water Battle Begins

11:30 a.m.: Children’s Muster

Noon: 18th Century Music with Linda Russell

12:30 p.m.: Native American Culture with Rick Salazar

1 p.m.: Synopsis of the French and Indian War with Jack Frost

1:30 p.m.: Land Battle Begins

2:30 p.m.: Gates Close

Find out more at www.fort1749.org.

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