Rendezvous returns with rave reviews, high attendance

Organizers to add more hands-on activities in future events
By 
CONNOR CARYNSKI
Ozaukee Press staff

Saukville’s Crossroads Rendezvous was better than ever with strong attendance after a hiatus caused by the pandemic, organizers said.

The event has been a Saukville favorite since it was first held in 1991.

Organizer Mary   said attendance at the Wisconsin fur-trade era re-enactment, held May 20 to May 22, matched that of 2019, despite it being canceled the past two years.

“Coming back after a pandemic is almost like starting all over again, so I was worried that we would have smaller numbers than our 2019 event,” Boyle said.

About 1,050 people visited the event campsite in Peninsula Park over the weekend, she said.

Boyle said the event’s school day, when area students learn about life in Wisconsin from 1750 to 1840, was also well attended with about 400 students registered.

“It was comparable with 2019, and that’s what I was hoping for,” Boyle said.

Boyle said cooperative weather and early historical promotions, such as River History Day and the Crossroads Rendezvous Workshop series held earlier this year, helped boost attendance.

During the workshops, community members gathered at the Crossroads Museum to learn skills such as tailoring and basket weaving.

Boyle said the River History Day and workshops are planned to be held again next year.

New to the Rendezvous lineup this year were cricket games hosted by Tom Melville of Cedarburg, a professional cricket player and historian — something Boyle said was well-received especially by students during school day.

“It was a big hit with the kids,” she said. “So far from the feedback from our schools, that was one of our more popular stations.”

Also popular this year was a tomahawk-throwing station, Boyle said, as well as a silent auction that raised nearly $700 for the event.

Auction items were donated by re-enactment participants.

Another new activity this year were dances and presentations coordinated by Carol Boettcher.

Boyle said one of her favorite events was a large dance in which many re-enactors participated.

“Really good connections were made all around, and all the new things were well received,” she said.

While no river crossing was held, a cannon demonstration was popular.

In the future, Boyle said, organizers will focus on creating more hands-on activities.

“Those are the most popular things at the event,” she said.

Those activities could help boost attendance and attract more vendors, Boyle said, adding greater attendance could also allow organizers to hold battle re-enactments that have historically been event favorites.

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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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