market fair

18th Century Market Fair


First State Heritage Park’s 18th Century Market Fair

Saturday, November 6, 2021

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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.

Signora Bella, the Great Italian Equilibrist

woman in 1700s clothese walking a tightrope and holding an unbrella

Signora Bella delights audiences of all ages balancing and juggling on the rola bola, the slackrope, and the large sphere. She juggles knives and flaming torches. With much zest, Signora Bella brings to life the tradition of the travelling performer of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. Her performances encourage audience interaction, creating a unique experience every time.

Peter Gardiner – 18th Century Conjuror

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.

Professor Horn’s Punch & Judy Show

puppeteer holding antique looking puppets

This fun-filled show truly captures the wonder and pure imagination of childhood. Professor Horn’s celebrated Punch & Judy show is known to incite gales of laughter from audiences of all ages. Children adore the amazing feats, slapstick comedy and variety entertainments. And parents can’t resist the nostalgic excitement this quintessential puppet show conjures from their own childhoods. Professor Horn also brings a hand-cranked music box and giveaways for children.

Dr. Balthazar

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.

Performances: 10:30 a.m., 12:30 & 2:45 p.m.

Other Things at The Fair:

  • Dr. Balthazar
  • 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 next year?

Check out this information: Market Fair Application

Map and Directions