Colonial Faire to celebrate America’s history


Jen Tousey figures it’s not early to begin celebrating America’s 250th anniversary.

CNI COM 0426 Colonial Faire Tousey head shot 1
Jen Tousey

Tousey is the committee chair of the inaugural Colonial Faire, set from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  April 27 at 4635 N. Illinois St., Indianapolis. The Caroline Scott Harrison Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution is hosting the free event. A donation of $5 per family is suggested.

“We thought it was more important to get as many people there to experience it (than) to charge them,” Tousey said. “The proceeds would go to put the event on again. We would like to grow it and put this on through the entirety of American 250.”

The event is in advance of the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which will be held in 2026.

“When do you gauge the birthday for America?” Tousey said. “Most people are going to say July 4, 1776, but there is a great number of events leading up to that. They didn’t just wake up on July Fourth saying this is what we are going to do. We’ve already celebrated the 250th birthday of the Boston Tea Party and other tea parties that happened up and down the East Coast. It’s about a three- or four-year-long process. So, let’s get people excited, let’s do some outreach and let’s have some fun while we’re doing some education.”

The community event will feature activities and demonstrations from the 18th century, speeches by interpreters playing Colonial figures.

“For example, we have a booth where we make a Little Three Sisters Garden and they learn the legend of the Three Sisters Garden (corn, beets and squash) and why it was important to the time and what was native gardening about it,” Tousey said. “They have the opportunity to bring those little gardens home with them.”

Music will be performed by the Voyageur Ancient Fife and Drum Corps, Fiddlesticks Fiddlers and the Herron High School string quartet.

“All of them will be playing selections from the 18th century with some explanation of what they are playing,” Tousey said. “We also have historical interpreters who also will be taking the stage. We chose to go a different route. Usually, you expect to see Gen. George Washington, perhaps Alexander Hamilton, perhaps Thomas Jefferson. We thought it might be good to highlight some forgotten patriots, so we have Martha Washington, Billy Flora, Phyllis Wheatley and Polly Cooper. They are kind of unsung or forgotten heroes. We have patriots of color, women patriots and youth patriots. The whole thing is to have an ‘a-ha’ moment of ‘I didn’t know that.’”

The interpreters are all volunteers.

“Some are very seasoned interpreters who have done it for years and years,” Tousey said. “One of the interpreters is an actress and we have several new historical interpreters making their debut. I have three teachers coming from Indian Creek Elementary (in Lawrence Township).”

There will be a crafts booth for the younger children. There is a town pillory for photo opportunities. There will be a scavenger hunt, interviews with forgotten heroes and entered into contests and a spy mission.

“You become a spy for General Washington and when you do a good job you get commendations from Nathaniel Sackett, George Washington’s spymaster,” Tousey said.

Chick-Fil-A food will be there as a vendor.

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