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William Brand

Historic events around the world

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I am frequently asked for specific information on ‘historic’ events and gatherings around the world.  To that end, I’d love to know of any historic friendly events.  Now, when I say ‘historic’ I do in fact mean historic.  Not events with broad claims to authentic piracy, without the true substance of it, but events which truly offer a section of/or whole location devoted to authentic re-enactment, demonstrations and living history.  


By way of example, there have been some well noted events over the years (though some of them are gone or changed), such as…



Fort Taylor Pyrate Invasion

Fort Knox Pirate Parley

Fort de Chartres Rendezvous
Beaufort Pirate Invasion


We’d all love to know what’s out there.  Feel free to be candid about the details and the demographics when recommending an event.  Pros and cons are a must for people who are considering time, money and travel, but this isn't the place to bash events which offer only small samplings of history.  We're just looking for selective, fair offerings.  

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Fort de Chartres Rendezvous


Don’t let the word ‘rendezvous’ mistake you into thinking that this is a mountain men/Old West event.  It is a French Colonial Illinois event which spans the time frame of 1720 to about 1790.  We approached the fort about including pirates (Crew of the Mercury) some years back.  They were hesitant to include pirates until we explained that we do historic re-enactment from the very year 1720 and pointed out that had no one portraying that early, so they let us attend.  We made a good impression that first year and a number of us have attended since.  


The event is held in a partially restored, stone fort with bastion corners.  The location and the fort itself are a huge draw.  It sits just East of the Mississippi in open farmland, devoid of modern structures, so the illusion of early colonial isolation on the French frontier is solid.  


Cons - 


The weather.  


It’s just completely unpredictable.  It can be outrageously hot and sticky or apocalyptic rain.  The area frequently floods.  In fact it was cancelled due to flooding.  Camping is about as real as it gets at Fort de Chartres.  Also…bugs.


It’s far enough South of St. Louis to require a bit of driving down small highways, wending through back country, but it is beautiful country.


Broad time frame, but broad historically. 


Pros - 


Fantastic bastion fort as a living set, complete with chapel, powder magazine and other structures.  


Surrounded by beautiful farmland.


Hundreds of attendees and visitors.  You’ll meet amazing people.  


Period craftsmen, vendors, fur trade re-enactors, clergy, townspeople, etc.


Not one, but many different standing regiments and militia.


Live animals, open fires, and camping.


Battle skirmishes, shooting contests with live charges, cannon school, and other competitions.


Many opportunities to try out some French, if that’s in your wheelhouse.  


They have period religious services, such as Catholic mass for the Catholic French forces and protestant services with period sermons.  



Now, if you can’t make the Spring Rendezvous, they have a late fall event which is great if you want to try out heavier clothing and kit like thrums, watch coats, etc.  It often snows at this event, but it is a rare chance to camp in unusual conditions.  


The fort also has regular holiday dinners, shooting club outings, contests and events throughout the year all in historic kit and clothing.  

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