A journey through time to 18th Century Market Faire

Steven Mumford with the Historical and Cultural Affairs portrays the Town Crier during the 18th Century Market Fair on The Green on Saturday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

DOVER — Keeping in step with the city of Dover’s 300th anniversary celebration this year, The Green served as a portal to the 1700s on Saturday.

Colonial-themed costumed characters, a town crier, strolling fiddler, children playing games, craftsmen and women, and more filled The Green as The First State Heritage Park hosted its eighth annual 18th Century Market Faire under near perfect fall weather conditions.

“The Market Faire is doing amazingly well,” said Sarah Zimmerman, Heritage Park Superintendent. “The weather held out and it’s a beautiful day and people are coming out and having a great time.

“I think the (Veterans Day) parade (in the morning) and all the events that are happening really made it kind of come together for a big day. People seem to have gotten around (all of the events) very well and are having a good time.”

MarketFair5-MCleryMike Follin performs Dr. Balthasar’s Mircle Medicine during the 18th Century Market Fair on The Green on Saturday. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

Indeed, there was plenty to see and do at the 18th Century Market Fair, including the occasional call of two caged Delaware Blue Hens.

Guests just had to listen up to Steven Mumford, also known as the town crier, who announced times and places where events were about to get underway throughout the day.

“The event has been well attended and we have to contribute the weather for that as well,” said Mr. Mumford, with Historic and Cultural Affairs. “This is my second year with the Market Fair.

“I look forward to this and I’ve been the town crier for the Chestertown Tea Party Festival for 20-plus years, so I have roots in Maryland and Delaware.”

The 18th Century Market Faire featured various performers offering demonstrations on activities and topics ranging from weaving to comedy to medicine.

There were activities for visitors of all ages could participate.

It felt kind of like autumn’s version of Dover Days.

“I love it,” said Smyrna’s Abbey August, who attended the Market Fair with her mother Veronica. “It’s a celebration of old times and I like that about it.
“It’s cool seeing all of the old weapons and the clothing. I really want to see the blacksmith at work.”

Veronica August was enjoying the day with her daughter and learning about a bygone era at the same time.

“It’s neat to see how things were made back then as well with the craftsmanship,” she said. “It does make it easier to come out when the weather’s pleasant.”

Ms. Zimmerman said that besides the entertainment, people also enjoyed getting the chance to watch traditional craftspeople at work.

“Many people, especially children, have never had an opportunity to experience this,” she said. “There are so many kids here. People keep bringing their families back year after year, and that is really cool.”

The artisans provide a chance for people to “learn something without realizing it,” Ms. Zimmerman said, noting the craftsmen explain their work to audience members as they engage in it.

The Market Faire provided equal parts of learning, food and fun for the steady stream of guests who attended on Saturday.

However, once the event came to a conclusion at 4 p.m., visitors had to go back through the portal and return to their vehicles, cell phones and computers, leaving the colonial times behind.

They still had the memories.

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