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Elaine Brenchley, First State Heritage Park, 302-739-9194,, or Necia Beck, Delaware State Parks, 302-739-9175,

First State Heritage Park Hosts Fourth Annual 18th Century Market Fair

[High-resolution photos available upon request]

DOVER (Oct. 23, 2013) – The Dover Green is now part of the new First State National Monument, but in the 1700s it was the center of life in Dover and the site of annual autumn market fairs.

On Saturday, Nov. 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on The Green, the First State Heritage Park’s 18th Century Market Fair recreates the sights and sounds of these eagerly anticipated events and allows visitors to leave the 21st century behind for a few hours.

“This is the fourth year that we have staged the Market Fair on The Green in Dover,” said Heritage Park manager Elaine Brenchley, “and each year more and more people have attended as word has spread of what a fun, free event this is for all ages.”

Last year, more than 2000 visitors enjoyed living history characters, traditional artisans at work and comical interactive performances all with an 18th-century twist. Two favorite performers returning this year are Dr. Balthasar and his Marvelous Miracle Medicine Show and Signora Bella, the Great Italian Equilibrist.

New this year and sure to become a crowd pleaser is Timothy, the 18th-century Irish Linen Worker, who turns ordinary-looking flax straw into linen products using authentic tools from the 1700s and woven using a loom from the 1790s. Timothy will also delight word-lovers with his explanations of such expressions as raising a dog's hackles, a tow rope, a tow-headed child, the flaxen-haired maiden, a spinster and a web.

“One important part of Market Fair, besides pure entertainment, is a chance to watch traditional craftspeople at work,” said Brenchley. “Many people, especially children, have never had an opportunity to experience this.”

Children can enjoy the many hands-on activities. Two new activities for all ages are face-painting and a free photo booth where visitors can have their picture taken with fun props from the colonial era. Music, dancers and food vendors add to the period atmosphere.

Admission to Market Fair is free, with refreshments and handcrafted items available for purchase. The event will be held, rain or shine, and will move to indoor locations around The Green in the event of inclement weather.

Information about all the vendors and entertainers appearing at Market Fair can be found at

Vol. 43, No. 414

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