If you're a history buff looking for something to do this weekend, then you should take a trip to Vincennes, Indiana, for the Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous.

Growing up next to Knox County, Indiana, I often went Vincennes to take a stroll along the Wabash River or visit the historic downtown district. In fact, I even moved there straight out of high school, where I attended Vincennes University for broadcasting. While I've since graduated and moved a handful of times, I still visit the city a couple of times a month to see friends or even eat at some of my favorite restaurants.

If you've never been to Vincennes, you're missing out. According to the Indiana State Museum, this was the first settlement in Indiana with French roots dating back to 1732. It was also the sight of a crucial battle during the Revolutionary War, which resulted in a patriot victory in late February 1779. If you would like to learn about this battle in full, I highly recommend visiting the George Rogers Clark Memorial, but for the sake of providing context for this weekend's event, I'll give you a brief summary.

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According to the American Battlefield Trust, George Rogers Clark was the older brother of William Clark, who explored the Louisiana Purchase with Meriwether Lewis. He was stationed about 180 miles west of Fort Sackville, also known as Fort Vincennes, which was held by the British. He led 172 American and French militiamen along a very cold winter journey to attack the fort on February 23, 1779. The British commander, Lt. Col. Henry Hamilton, would surrender just a few days later.

For the past several decades, the Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous has taken visitors back in time to experience firsthand what life was like in the 18th century. The event occurs on Memorial Day weekend each year and includes local craftsman demonstrations, merchants, musicians, food vendors, and even a series of reenactment battles. Those involved in the mega flashback are also dressed for the occasion, wearing historically accurate attire.

Having been to this event numerous times, I can tell you it's absolutely fascinating. Not only does one experience the sights of 18th century life, but also the smells, from food cooking over an open fire to gunpowder on the battlefield. This weekend's festivities will take place on Saturday, May 25, 2024, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. EST and on Sunday, May 26, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. EST. To see the full event line up, visit the Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous Facebook page or website.

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