Looking for a fun Road Trip for this weekend? Visit Mississinewa 1812 outside of Marion, IN! About 2 hours NE of Indianapolis, or just over an hour S of Ft Wayne, Grant County Indiana is the place to be this weekend!
Mississinewa 1812 is a history lesson or two, food, fun, music, shopping, and trees just getting their fall color against a bright blue sky. We have been several years in a row, and highly recommend it! Mississinewa 1812 is the largest repeating War of 1812 reenactment event in the US. While there were some spectacular events in the last year to commemorate the end of the War of 1812, this is one you can count on seeing every year.
The grounds of Mississinewa 1812 are open from 9-5 on Saturday and 9-4 on Sunday. You can view this year's schedule here. For those who love to be entertained, there are strolling bards, seated dulcimer players, and a magician or two. For those who love textiles and other handmade goods, this is one of the best Midwest events to stock up on wares like pottery, millinery, and woodwork, as well as herbs, soaps, and tinware.
If you like to learn how things work, you can often find a printer, typesetting, spinners, and blacksmiths hard at work. Visit the camps and see meals being prepared or firearms being cleaned.
Each day you will have the opportunity to see a battle recreated. While this is not an actual representation of the battle of Mississinewa (because there aren't enough natives who participate to recreate the actual day of battle) it is a wonderful representation of how the battles of the time were fought. After the battle is over, the various groups will march in parade fashion in front of the spectators for review. One of our favorite part of visiting on Saturday is staying until 4 p.m. and watching them retire the colors for the night.
Here are a few more tips from our past experiences:
Take a backpack! Besides being a great place for your water bottle, it can carry your morning snack. After you've eaten your snack it can hold your jacket and the wares you're sure to want to buy. :)
A wide variety of vendors offer all sorts of tempting foods. Even if you pack a sandwich, be sure to try something from the yummy offerings.
Take cash! While many of the vendors will accept credit cards, it makes it much easier to navigate the crowds and get lunch when you want it if you pay in cash. Wear a hat and/or sunblock. A light jacket in the morning, and dressing in layers makes for a much better experience.
Go visit the various camp areas. There are re-enactors from all over the US, and often some from Canada as well. Almost all of them love to share their stories with guests... just don't get between them and the stew pot at dinnertime.
Follow the signs to the parking area. Once you park, take EVERYTHING with you that you'll want for the day as there are NO in/out privileges. The grounds have lots of port-a-lets, and pumping water stations for cleaning your hands, but you might want to throw in some wipes or hand sanitizer as well when you're organizing your backpack. You will be doing a lot of walking, so wear your most comfortable shoes! There are some hills. If you have little ones, take a wagon or backpack carrier.
Get to the battlefield early! 30 minutes before the scheduled start time is usually the latest time to get a seat on the bleachers. After that you'll sit on the grass on the hill.
Have a wonderful time...and if you see the White River Guard ~ tell them we said Hi!