Feast of the Hunters' Moon

Fifers at the 2006 Feast

Feast of the Hunters’ Moon is a weekend festival and historical reenactment held on a weekend in October since 1968, at the present-day site of Fort Ouiatenon, a replica 18th century French military and trading post near West Lafayette, Indiana. Traditionally, the Hunters' Moon is the full moon in October, following September's Harvest Moon.


Blockhouse replica at Fort Ouiatenon

The Feast is held on the grounds of the Historic Fort Ouiatenon Park, on the Wabash River.[1][2] The blockhouse is a replica of the original Fort Ouiatenon, which was the first fortified European settlement in what is now called Indiana.[3] The fort served as a French trading post and was located approximately one mile downriver from the replica.[4]


During the festival, participants reenact the annual fall gathering of the French and Native Americans which took place at Fort Ouiatenon in the mid-18th century.[5][6] Participants dress in the garb of the 18th century French soldiers, settlers, and Native Americans who lived in this region.[7][8] Food vendors sell traditional period foods such as rabbit stew, voyageur stew, and venison sausage.[6][8] The program also includes music, marching, dancing and renenacted military maneuvers.[6]

Musical performancesEdit

As part of the event, various musical acts perform, including Native American drummers, historical folk music performers, French folksingers and period fife and drum corps.[7]

Living history presentationsEdit

The event includes historical reenactments featuring period characters from the 1700s to educate visitors about the lives and culture of the period.[9] One historical interpreter presented a Delaware Indian who first served as a scout for the French and whose people lived along the Wabash River in the 1700s and co-existed peacefully with the French at the outpost.[10] Others play traders and gunsmiths, such as "Pierre Rolletof" of French Scots-Irish descent who traveled along the Wabash River trading a range of items, including guns, and also gunsmithed as he traveled.[11] Other reenactors have demonstrated various period trades and crafts, including a chairmaker who built Windsor chairs to order, spending 40–45 hours per chair.[12]

Size and productionEdit

In 2004, the annual event drew over 8,000 participants and over 60,000 spectators.[7] The Tippecanoe County Historical Association, cooperating with the Tippecanoe County Parks Department, presents the event on a weekend in late September or early October.[13] The annual event ran for its 44th year in 2011. 2017 marks its 50th anniversary and the 300th anniversary of the fort.[14]


  1. ^ Maxfield, Thomas (September 25, 2011). "Getting to the Feast". Journal & Courier. Layfayette. p. A4.
  2. ^ Dittman, Joan (September 21, 2011). "Feast of Hunters' Moon this weekend". Post-Tribune. Merrillville, Indiana. Archived from the original on February 10, 2012. Retrieved 2011-11-26.
  3. ^ "Blockhouse Museum" Tippecanoe County Historical Association
  4. ^ "The Ouiatenon Preserve" Tippecanoe County Historical Association
  5. ^ Bushnell, George (October 4, 1998). "A Feast for All Time Indiana Festival Traces History of Fort". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
  6. ^ a b c "Full Feast Ahead". Journal & Courier. Layfayette, Indiana. September 23, 2011. pp. 11, 13.
  7. ^ a b c Gisler, Margaret (2004). "Feast of the Hunters' Moon". Fun with the Family Indiana (5th ed.). Globe Pequot. pp. 177–178. ISBN 978-0-7627-2978-4. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
  8. ^ a b Borsky, Daniel (October 18, 1996). "The Feast of the Hunter's Moon". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
  9. ^ Schaefer, Dede (October 1989). "The Feast of the Hunter's Moon". Outdoor Indiana Magazine. Indiana Department of Natural Resources: 26–29.
  10. ^ Showalter, Max (September 25, 2011). "This is our land, This is our Home". Journal & Courier. Layfayette, Indiana. p. A4.
  11. ^ Mack, Justin L. (September 25, 2011). "It's a challenging life". Journal & Courier. Layfayette. pp. A1 & A4.
  12. ^ Mack, Justin L. (September 25, 2011). "It's about the simplicity of life". Journal & Courier. Lafayette, Indiana. p. A4.
  13. ^ "Annual Feast of Hunter's Moon At Lafayette This Weekend". The News & Review. Brookston and Monon, Indiana. October 4, 2006. p. 11. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
  14. ^ Showalter, Max (September 25, 2011). "Sunny skies draw large crowd to Feast opener". Journal & Courier. Lafayette, Indiana. p. C3.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 40°24′23″N 86°57′50″W / 40.40639°N 86.96389°W / 40.40639; -86.96389