market fair

18th Century Market Fair

First State Heritage Park’s 18th Century Market Fair

Saturday November 4th - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday November 5th - 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Enter to Win

This year visitors will have 2 chances to be entered to win a 2023 Delaware State Parks Annual Pass! Stop by the survey table on State Street at any point during the weekend and fill out a survey OR pick up a coloring page at several locations throughout Dover in the weeks leading up to Market Fair and submit your page for a separate drawing!

Rain or Shine — On The Green in Dover — Free fun for the whole family!

Market Fair brings the colonial past to life in this annual, highly-anticipated special event! Walk the ground where 18th century Doverites went to market, browsing among historic trade demonstrators, local and regional vendors selling their food and wares, and talented performers sweeping you back through the centuries. This event is FREE to attend, so we hope you'll consider spending the day with us on a true historical adventure! With dozens of market stalls, demonstrations and performers, we recommend setting aside several hours for your visit. Please also wear good walking shoes and dress for the weather!

  • Living History
  • Trades & Craft Demonstrations
  • Entertainers
  • Food & Drink
  • All with an 18th-century twist!

Market Fair Performers

Performances will take place throughout the day, check the printed program for details.

Peter Gardiner – 18th Century Conjuror

The doctor is in

Just arrived from Europe, the celebrated Peter Gardiner presents Artistic Deception, Dexterity of Hand, and Curious Entertainments surpassing anything of the kind that has hitherto been seen or attempted on this side of the Atlantic. Mr. Gardiner exhibits astonishing performances in the Art of Legerdemain that promise to deceive the eye of the nicest observer, and appear in a manner supernatural. This is conjuring and magic of the 18th century impeccably performed and wonderfully amusing.

Perfomance Times (Saturday): 11:30, 1:30, 3:30

Perfomance Times (Sunday): 11:30, 1:00, 2:45

Doc Balthazar’s Marvelous Miracle Medicine Show

man dressed in 1700s clothes enacting medicine sales

During this comical interactive performance Dr. Balthazar offers audiences a “magical miracle medicine that cures everything from a common cold to death of two weeks’ standing.” Ailments and afflictions such as consumption, baldness, the “summer complaint,” dropsy, drunkenness and extreme nervousness were just a few of the maladies that magical potions hawked by travelling medicine men of the 1700s would supposedly cure.

Perfomance Times (Saturday): 10:30, 12:30, 2:30

Perfomance Times (Sunday): 12:00, 1:45, 3:15

Music of the American Colonies

American Colonies

Enjoy this talented couple as their fiddle and dulcimer bring you back to the 18th Century!                                                                                          

Perfomance Times (Sunday): 11:45, 1:30, 3:15

Wireharp Productions

Wireharp Productions

Children and adults alike will be entranced by the whimsical and talented performance by Robert Mouland as he plays his violin and manipulates his marionette puppets.

Performance times: Ongoing throughout the weekend

Forbes Road Frolic

Forbes Road Musical Group

Forbes Road Frolic will help you step back in time and be surrounded by the sounds of the 18th Century as they perform in their hammed dulcimer, mandolin and fiddle music through the day.

Perfomance Times (Saturday): 11:45, 1:45, 3:45

Professor Horn's Punch and Judy Show

Professor Horn's Punch and Judy Puppet Show

Perfect for kids and adults alike, sit down and enjoy the whimsical fun of a traditional Punch and Judy show! Professor Horn is even bringing new puppets too.

Perfomance Times (Saturday): 11:00, 1:00, 3:00

Perfomance Times (Sunday): 11:00, 12:45, 2:15

Colonial Dancing

Colonial Dancing

Join in with our First State Club and learn the steps to popular 18th Century dances. Participation is encouraged!                                            

Perfomance Times (Saturday): 10:15, 12:15, 2:45

Perfomance Times (Sunday): 11:45, 1:15, 3:15

Market Fair Vendors

  • Brittingham Farms: Live sheep on display! Sells fleece, wool, lavender and essential oil products
  • Lady Aimee’s Fine Sewing & Sutlery: 18th Century clothing and accessories
  • Colonial Glassblower: Selling handmade glass products.
  • For Woodness Sake: Demonstrates woodworking and sells handmade pieces
  • Thistledown Fiber Guild: Demonstrates the lifecycle of fiber through weaving, spinning, knitting and lace making (Saturday only)
  • Warpath Archery: Traditionally made Native American bows and projectile points (Saturday only)
  • Sachet Making: Staff from John Dickinson Plantation work with guests to make their own herb sachet (Saturday only)
  • Silhouettes with Camera Obscura: Watch as your silhouette is made just as they did during the Revolutionary Period
  • Quill Pen Writing: Staff at the Old State House wait to teach you how to write with a Quill pen! (Saturday only)
  • Corn Husk Dolls: Join First State National Historical Park staff in making your own corn husk doll (Saturday only)
  • Lewes Historical Society
  • 18th Century Life at Sea: Staff from the Zwaanendael Museum teach guests about the sailors life! (Saturday only)
  • HM 17th Regiment of Foot: Walk into a Revolutionary camp and talk to militiamen, a washer woman, barber and shoemaker. Even join the army!
  • Catherine Masek: Learn about the history of lighting and paint and their usage in historic homes.
  • Historic Basket Weaving: Learn and watch how to weave historic basketry, and then purchase some to bring home.
  • Regimental Brewmeister: Watch as beer is brewed right in front of you using 18th century methods (beer is not for sale or consumption by the public) (Saturday Only)
  • Hoffman’s Forge: Watch metal implements be created with this travelling forge and purchase some goods for the holidays.
  • The Grand Sutlery: Recreation of an 18th Century merchants market stall.
  • Sullivan Press: Purchase your own reproduction colonial book or fine marbled paper journal!
  • The Georgian Kitchen: Sutler selling 18th Century cooking ingredients, jewelry and more.
  • Delaware State Parks Cultural Resources Unit: Join State Park staff and learn about the work they do and participate in a sand pit archaeological adventure (Saturday Only)
  • Quaker Doctor: Smallpox is on the rise in 18th Century Dover, but our local doctor is here to get you inoculated and learn about the medical advances being made!
  • Mantua Maker & Milliner: As an 18th Century business woman, the miller is here to sell you the latest fashionable goods from across the pond while securing her spot in society (Saturday Only)

Market Fair Food and Drink Vendors

  • Fifer Orchards: Enjoy their famous apple cider and donuts! (Saturday only)
  • Market Fair Tavern presented by Dover Century Club: Sandwiches, hot dogs, soup and drinks all sold to support their scholarship program (Saturday Only)
  • A variety of Food Trucks: will be on site both days.

Other Things at The Fair:

  • 18th century games
  • Historic Cricket
  • 18th Century clothing
  • Native American handmade arrows
  • Basket weaving
  • Blacksmithing
  • Good things to eat
  • Knitting
  • Musicians
  • Quill pen writing
  • 18th Century painting
  • Weaving
  • Woodworking
  • And more!

Want to Be a Part of Market Fair?

Check back for more information and our application that will be posted soon.

Map and Directions