market fair

18th Century Market Fair


First State Heritage Park’s 18th Century Market Fair

Saturday November 5th

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday November 6th

10 a.m. to 3 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.

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.

The Doctor is In: Dr. James Tilton

The doctor is in

In this living history presentation, Old State House historic site interpreter Steven Mumford will portray Delaware Dr. James Tilton. He will discuss how doctors practiced medicine in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Performances will be at 11am and 2pm in the courtroom of the Old State House.

Music of the American Colonies

American Colonies

Join Ann and Ridley Enslow as they play an authentic fiddle and dulcimer.

Wireharp Productions

Perfect for the whole family! Enjoy 18th Century instruments and marionette puppets.

Johnny and Margo Strum, Old World Troubadours

Follow the sound of traditional and folk songs to find this bard! (Sunday only)

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
  • Annapolis Mantua Maker: 18th century clothing and accessories. Hand sewing and embroidery demonstrations
  • Colonial Glassblower: Selling handmade glass products.
  • Mrs. Robina Schuricht: Demonstrating 18th Century oil painting with authentic materials
  • Joyce Lapp: Local artist selling handmade works (Saturday only)
  • Theorem Painting and Woodworking: Handmade woodworks and folk art
  • For Woodness Sake: Demonstrates woodworking and sells handmade pieces
  • Thistledown Fiber Guild: Demonstrates the lifecycle of fiber through weaving, spinning, knitting and lace making.
  • Blacksmithing: Join Fort Delaware State Park blacksmith as he demonstrates this timeless trade
  • 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 (Sunday 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!
  • The Grand Sutlery: Recreation of an 18th Century merchants market stall

Market Fair Food and Drink Vendors

  • Fifer Orchards: Enjoy their famous apple cider and donuts! (Saturday only)
  • Old World Breads: Come early to snag their delicious homemade breads and pastries. (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)
  • La Baguette Bakery & Catering: Artisanal sandwiches and pastries (Saturday only)
  • House of Coffi: Delicious coffee and teas (Sunday only)

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