Crossroads rising

Organizers of event saluting Saukville’s pivotal role in history expect this summer’s version to triple in size

MUSKET IN HAND, Brody Schicker stood in a firing line on School Day in last year’s Crossroads Rendezvous, sponsored by the Saukville Area Historical Society. Organizers expect this year’s event to be much larger than last year’s. Press file photo
By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press Staff

Organizers of this summer’s Crossroads Rendezvous in Saukville expect it to be triple the size of last year’s event, which was the first one of its kind held since 2006.

“That is our expectation based on the feedback we received both during the event last year and events we attended through the 2018 season,” said Sara Dahmen, co-organizer of the Rendezvous.  

“We just have a better idea of groups that are interested. We expect there to be triple the number of re-enactors — 100 to 150.

“That means there will be a lot more to see and do and learn for our schoolchildren and for the public.”

This year’s Rendezvous will be held Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19.

The Crossroads Rendezvous celebrates the era of discovery in the 1700s and early 1800s and Saukville’s role as a meeting place for traders and Native Americans.

The event was revived last year after a 12-year hiatus. It ran from 1991 to 2006 but ceased after the previous organizers stepped down. 

Last year, Mary Boyle, a local writer and editor, and Dahmen, a writer and coppersmith, headed up an effort to resurrect the event.

Both Boyle and Dahmen are re-enactors: Boyle and her family portray a French and Indian War-era artillery unit; Dahmen a metalsmith.

Other re-enactors at the Rendezvous will portray blacksmiths, soldiers, voyageurs, trappers, traders and others.

Friday of Rendezvous weekend will be “School Day,” for which teachers and homeschool parents are invited to bring their students to the Rendezvous.

“Last year 400 to 500 kids came on School Day. We hope to have more this year,” Dahmen said.

“The kids really come alive. They get to participate in blacksmith demonstrations, finger weaving, tinsmithing, militia drills, playing games, shooting off cannons, Native American singing, and talking with fur traders with furs that kids can touch and feel.”

The Rendezvous is a fundraiser for the Saukville Area Historical Society. Last year’s event raised $2,600 for the group, with the money going toward the restoration of the Crossroads Museum, Dahmen said.

The organizers hope to improve on that number this year and have sent out fundraising letters seeking sponsors and donors.

“It would be lovely to double that,” Dahmen said.

Organizers also have reached out to other local nonprofit groups hoping they will man food tents to benefit their clubs as well as the event. Local Scout troops have already agreed to do so, Dahmen said.

For more information, visit crossroadsrendezvous.org or its Facebook page at CrossroadsRendezvous.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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