Tribune photo by January Wetzel Kris Dowden, 10 of Mitchell, far left, his sister, Ady Grider, 5, of Brown County and their grandmother, Teresa Dowden, watch carefully as Charlie Carson of Union Mills demonstrates how to carve a wood ladle during the 43rd annual Fort Vallonia Days festival in Vallonia Saturday.
Tribune photo by January Wetzel These tee-pees set inside the replica fort in Vallonia were a big draw to the crowds attending the 43rd annual Fort Vallonia Days festival in Vallonia Saturday. Beautiful fall weather brought record breaking crowds to the small community this weekend.
Driftwood Township continues a decades-old tradition with Fort Vallonia Days this weekend.
Board president Corey Baughman said the event started with the parents of his generation and will continue into the next generation.
“Our parents started this tradition, and now we’re following through,” Baughman said.
The festival kicks off Saturday and continues Sunday.
In its 44th year, Fort Vallonia Days was created to raise funds to build a replica of the original fort, built in 1811, he said.
The first Fort Vallonia Days in 1968 made way for the annual event and
construction of the fort in 1972. It now includes a walled area and a garrison house.
During the festival, demonstrations of wood working, blacksmithing and weaving will be offered, and knife throwing, tomahawk throwing and muzzleloader shooting competitions will be staged.
Since that first year, the event continually has grown, vice president Ann Cooper said.
“It has grown tremendously since then,” she said, encompassing much of the downtown area and serving as a homecoming for area residents.
The French settlers who came to Vallonia in the 1700s became the families who were protected by the fort in the early 19th century. It continues to be the center of town.
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