In support of the Battle for Sunset Lake’s Revolutionary War re-enactment venue, the Vicksburg Farmers’ Market is planning to stay open for its first ever night market until 8 p.m. on Friday, June 24. Its normal hours are 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday afternoons.
The re-enactors will be invited to taste the specialties of the market’s baked goods providers, Grandpa’s pasties, plus enticing meals from the three food trucks which have committed to being at the market that afternoon and evening. They might even find some vegetables and fruits that are in season toward the end of June that they can take back to their campsite for the two days of the Battle. Re-enactors mostly camp, cook and eat as authentically as the army did during the 1770s.
The night market will offer a chance for the public to get acquainted with individual re-enactors in advance of their two-day stint in the community. It might be interesting to note where they get their uniforms made and why they choose to study this period in our nation’s history. It’s likely that the members of the North West Territory Alliance (NWTA) will be arriving in Vicksburg at all times of the day on Friday to set up their camp site, according to their representative, Stefan Sekula. They will be firing all their muskets in unison at 10:30 Friday night at the Rec Park as the opening salvo for the Battle. It’s called a Fue de Joie and is a great camera shot that photographers won’t want to miss.
Regular customers are definitely invited to find a good meal at the Market with additional seating being offered on picnic tables and benches at the pavilion. Special music from the Kalamazoo Folk Life organization will be on the menu to entertain and keep things lively during the evening.
Re-enactors for the June 25 and 26 event come from all over the Midwest. They drive many miles to take part in re-enactments in places as separate as Vincennes, Ind., at the very southern tip of the state, to Kenosha, Wis. where the River Valley Colonials are located, to Cantigny, Ill. just outside of Chicago, and Dayton, Ohio where Father Son and Friends, the headliner band, is located.
The 2016 Market opened on May 20 with little more than rhubarb, asparagus and lettuce available. The offerings will swell in early June when Michigan strawberries ripen. Attendance has been over 500 each week which makes the vendors happy, according to Carol Meyer-Niedzwiecki, co-market manager. The three food trucks that have committed to bring their specialty fare to Vicksburg are Ol’ Moose Barbeque from Portage selling barbecue, homemade relishes and sides; Bomba’s at the Barn from Lawton specializing in fish tacos and barbecue; and Singh Cruisin’ Cuisine from Battle Creek with their Indian, American and Greek offerings.
Area residents who were surveyed during the winter this year indicated a distinct preference for having an evening market in Vicksburg. This will be a good test of that desire, Meyer-Niedzwiecki said.