Step back in time and experience 18th Century life this weekend at Bardstown Colonial Days in Bardstown, Kentucky. Bardstown, located only thirty minutes from Louisville in Nelson County, is one of the oldest cities in Kentucky. It was settled in the 1770s and officially established in 1780. Bardstown Colonial Days brings the past to the present and allows patrons to mingle with Kentucky’s early settlers.
Dennis Medley, Colonial Days Founder, said, “Bardstown is of historical significance to Kentucky and the rest of the nation. The town is perfect for this 18th Century event.”
Old Bardstown Village, 204 East Broadway Street, sits at the foot of the Bardstown Civil War Museum and is one of the primary sites for Bardstown Colonial Days. In this location, you can expect to find re-enactors and musicians in period costumes at the Market Fair. Vendors will sell items you might expect to have found at markets in 18th Century including furs, leather, handmade soaps, linens, jewelry, wooden toys, iron and silver pieces, and other artisan items.
A long list of activities are scheduled throughout the weekend including 18th Century ballads sung by John Hagee, an 18th Century magic show provided by Faire Wynds Entertainment, speaking presentations from impersonators Mad Anne Bailey, Daniel Boone, General George Rogers Clark, and Simon Kenton, a presentation on 18th Century medicine and surgery, a tomahawk range, and more. For a complete list of activities and times, click here .
Take a quick shuttle ride over to Wickland Estate to experience the military encampment and artillery display. Artillery demonstrations include rifles, cannons, military soldiers and their war horses. The Wickland Mansion, 550 Bloomfield Road, which was home to three Kentucky governors, will also be open for tours. A competitive rifle frolic is scheduled for Saturday from 1-3 p.m. at nearby Rock Quarry.
“It is our goal to create a weekend full of fun and excitement for the entire community,” said Medley. “Everyone is invited to step back in time and discover aspects of life as experienced by the early settlers of Kentucky.
A team of 18th Century re-enactors roam the grounds to give it an authentic feel, but these re-enactors are not just here for decoration. The re-enactors take on the role of the ancient ancestors they portray and, if given the chance, are likely to educate you about their trade or place in the town. For the weekend, these modern day men, women and children take on the challenges 18th Century settlers faced every day.
“We try to see for ourselves how it was,” said re-enactor Jimmy Allgeier who sees his participation as a way to keep the history of America’s beginning alive. “It’s hard to believe a life without any modern conveniences. It was a very hard way of life.”
The event runs Friday, March 29 through Sunday April 1. Doors open at 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $6 for adults and teens, $3 for children ages 6-12, and free for children 5 and under. Admission includes access to both Old Bardstown Village and Wickland Estate, with free shuttle service to and from the sites. Admission also entitles patrons to a $3 discount at the adjacent Civil War Museum. For more information, visit BardstownColonialDays.com .