The Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous is an historical reenactment that takes place annually on Memorial Day weekend. Although the emphasis is on the late 18th century, they allow costumes from about 1750 to around 1815. This is the period in which the majority of battles took place in this region, in various configurations, between the French, British, Indians, and anyone else who happened to be around. And let’s not forget the Colonists (later known as “Americans,” not to be confused with the Americans who were already here), who might have sided with any or none of the above parties.
I’ve been to the Rendezvous before, as a lover of history and costumes, but not of loud noises, like muskets, cannons, and bagpipes. With a pair of earplugs and a sense of adventure, I was able to stretch my comfort zone and actually watch the battle.
Speaking of which, everybody looks better in 18th century clothing. I had plenty of opportunities to admire the men in their striking regimentals. I can tell I’m still learning how to use the digital camera as I know I took way more pictures than necessary of the hot guys in kilts. I got a chuckle out of the clergy in period dress—I couldn’t quite see how they were in costume—take off that floppy collar and lengthen the skirt on the cassock and it’s Fr. Peter Jon’s casual wear. He could probably win a costume contest by just showing up.
I had to admire the Brits in red; quite the eye candy. Not sure what that says about me—sorry George, the other team looks better. Probably the only time in history when the English had better teeth than the Americans.
It was amazing to me the women who played the part of soldiers in the reenactment—sure, it would be fun to slug whiskey before the battle, but why would you want to be firing a cannon when you could be in a corset and panniers, fanning yourself in the shade? Not that those in women’s clothes were doing that; they mostly just looked frumpy. I guess this is historically accurate as they would have been frontier housewives—I suppose I can’t expect ball gowns during the day.
Apparently I can’t expect them at the ball either. I should mention that the “ball” turned out to be a very simple contra dance, outside in the wet grass. But the mosquito bites I earned by going barefoot were worthy souvenirs from dancing with uniformed officers. We may be known for our diversity, but even the Bloomington contra dance can’t compete with that.