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'Island Rendezvous' Set for June 9 in Romeoville



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Photo by Glenn P. Knoblock

The Forest Preserve District of Will County’s 2018 “Island Rendezvous” celebration will blend the 18th-century French fur trade era with Native American culture and a wide range of fun hands-on activities.

The 35th annual “Island Rendezvous” is scheduled for 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 9, at Isle a la Cache Museum and preserve.

Rendezvous was a time when fur traders converged to celebrate a successful season. In recent years, the Forest Preserve’s interpretation of this celebration has been updated for today’s families, said Chris Gutmann, facility supervisor for Isle a la Cache.

“Isle a la Cache Museum is an educational facility, and it is designed to provide learning opportunities through experiences,” Gutmann explained. “Past Island Rendezvous programs were more about watching, but the revamped program is more about participating.”

New this year will be a food truck, the Grumpy Gaucho, where guests can grab lunch.

This year’s fest also will feature: a petting zoo, a live birds of prey program, a blacksmith, fire-starting, archery, skillet tossing, woodpecker darts and fishing activities. The Lewis University lacrosse team will demonstrate the original “national pastime,” which was started by Native Americans.

Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in Native culture by conversing with Redhawk, a Native American speaker who represents the Potawatomi and Ojibwe nations, and by stepping inside a replica longhouse and making a Native craft to take home. After enjoying outdoor activities, step inside the air conditioned museum to see all that it has to offer, including the new educational Blanding’s turtle exhibit, which features a live resident turtle.

Registration is not required for this free, all-ages event. Free parking and a shuttle service will be available.

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