Around Fort Vallonia, live demonstrations, a model steam and oil gas engine display, tepees and a stop in the museum will take visitors back in time.

Along the town streets, a variety of food and craft booths will be set up, and a large flea market will offer all kinds of items.

There also will be entertainment on the stage, a parade and muzzleloading, tomahawk and knife throwing, baking and team beanbag contests.

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Fort Vallonia Days returns Saturday and Sunday for its 47th annual running.

“There’s nothing new, nothing different. Just all of the same old good things people come for,” said Jackie Gibson, festival president and lifelong Vallonia resident.

On Saturday, activities run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It all starts with the Fort Vallonia Trail Ride and the Wes Hartley Memorial Muzzleloading Shoot, both at 9 a.m.

The parade will be at 1 p.m., and other events include a baby contest, a blood drive and a tomahawk and knife throw.

Sunday will begin with a community church service, hosted by Trinity Lutheran Church, at 10 a.m. A baking contest and a team beanbag tournament both will start at noon; a horseshoe pitch will be at 12:30 p.m.; and a 5K run/walk will start at 1 p.m.

The Fort Vallonia Museum, filled with artifacts and history of Vallonia and the surrounding area, will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

“Lots of things have been discovered over the years and put in there,” Gibson said. “It’s kind of neat to look through everything.”

Both days, the flea market and booths will be open those same hours; entertainment will be provided on the stage; and demonstrations, tepees and displays will be in the fort area.

Vallonia was settled by the French in the late 1700s. Around 1810, the Native Americans became belligerent toward the settlers, and Gen. William Henry Harrison, who was the governor of Indiana, ordered a fort to be built to protect the 90 families in the area.

“It just kind of goes back into that era,” Gibson said of the fort area. “We try to present to people what was going on back in that time whenever we did have our own fort. That’s just kind of the way people lived back then. Life wasn’t as easy as it is now.”

Gibson said she has gone to the festival as long as she can remember. She even has family come in from out of state just to enjoy the fun and fellowship.

“My dad was on the founding committee that got the festival started,” she said. “I remember my parents being down there for so many days before it started, marking off lots where people were going to set up.”

She said a lot of people work together to make the festival a success each year.

“I think it’s just a community coming together,” she said. “It takes a lot of people to pull something like this off. We’ve just always had the people that are willing to do it. The fun part is that coming together, getting it all put together and just family time.”

At a glance

47th annual Fort Vallonia Days


9 a.m.: Fort Vallonia Trail Ride (state riding permit required)

9 a.m.: Wes Hartley Memorial Muzzleloading Shoot

9:30 a.m.: Registration for baby contest (gymnasium)

10 a.m.: Baby contest (gymnasium)

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: American Red Cross blood drive (Vallonia Christian Church)

11 a.m.: Stars and Stripes Cloggers

Noon and 3 p.m.: Music by Captain Backfire

1 p.m.: Parade

2 p.m.: Tomahawk and knife throw

4 p.m.: Western dancing with Country Kickers

5 p.m.: Karaoke with Spotlight Karaoke

8 p.m.: Music by Bad Medicine


10 a.m.: Community church service (hosted by Trinity Lutheran Church)

10 a.m.: Registration for the team beanbag tournament (beside fort area)

11 a.m.: Gospel music by Mona Fish

Noon: Western dancing with Sparkles and Spurs

Noon: Registration for the 5K run/walk

Noon: Baking contest (gymnasium)

Noon: Team beanbag tournament

Noon: Registration for the horseshoe pitch

12:30 p.m.: Horseshoe pitch

1 p.m.: Brownstown Exchange Club 5K Run/Walk

1:30 p.m.: Brownstown Central High School show choir

3 and 4:30 p.m.: Contemporary gospel music by Jennifer Price

4 p.m.: Drawings

On the Web

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at or 812-523-7080.