Claire LeMelle, 13, plays a game Saturday during last year’s Fair at New Boston. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Photo: Contributing Writer
Photo: Contributing Writer

A new twist to this year’s Fair at New Boston

If you wanted social media in 1798, it involved a quill and inkwell or a printing press.

That year is about to experience social media in 21st-century fashion for the 36th Annual Fair at New Boston.

>> The ultimate guide to Labor Day weekend 

A new scavenger hunt to be conducted on Snapchat will be among the highlights, along with other new features and many favorite offerings when the fair returns from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 1-2, at George Rogers Clark Park.

The event goes on rain or shine.

Watching daily battles with canon fire, exploring the Native American village, shopping and experiencing the crafts and foods of the day have been part of the local Labor Day weekend for years.

>> Fair at New Boston sets stage for look into history

The scavenger hunt is a part of the process to keep people coming back and attracting new and younger visitors.

Pam Cottrel, one of the longtime organizers, confessed she’s lucky to do Facebook, but applauds the addition.

“I think it’s terrific,” she said. “The fair is one of those places people can push their creativity. I hope young people will realize it’s everybody’s history and will seize on that.”

A group of unique bottles on sale at last year’s Fair at New Boston. This year’s fair is Saturday and Sunday, Sept.1-2, at George Rogers Clark Park. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Photo: Contributing Writer

The scavenger hunt was developed by Clark State student Priscilla Fitchum and high school student Jackson Sielke. The goal of the game is to use the fair’s social media app, according to Cottrel.

The fair logo will be on flags around the grounds. When hunters find the flag, they can take a snap of the logo, character and themselves using the fair’s Snapchat filter, post it on their Snapchat and save the snaps to the camera roll.

When hunters find all 10 flags, they can come to Little John’s Tavern and ask for Fitchum to receive their prize.

Another fresh attraction is a brand new comedy play, “The Bard of New Boston,” written by Liz Culbertson, another longtime fair member. It will be performed twice a day.

The Mounted Rangers give a demonstration of combat on horseback during last year’s Fair at New Boston. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Photo: Contributing Writer

New performers will be scattered throughout the grounds also.

The year 1798 was when Napoleon was rampaging overseas and John Adams was president of the U.S.

Locally, it was a peaceful year with the Native Americans and early settlers getting along and new people arriving. Dayton was being settled and farms were established all over.

The Hertzler Barn near the park entrance will be used as a bigger space to hear historical figures including Simon Kenton, Daniel Boone and Chief Black Hoof speak.

Popular attractions such as the Native American village will have events including tomahawk and bow and arrow demonstrations, while battles will be fought each afternoon.

A day at the fair will make one hungry and parched. Favorites like hard cider at the Black Horse Tavern and sweet corn return, along with a variety of other foods you just don’t get at chain restaurants.

Men of all ages march in formation as they prepared for battle during last year’s Fair at New Boston. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Photo: Contributing Writer

Cottrel said the fair is put together by a dedicated group, from families and single parents who work year round so the event is memorable and different each year.

“It’s always changing and fun to see the evolution over the years. Come out and learn about history,” she said.

Attendees can purchase tickets online and avoid lines by checking on the Fair’s newly redesigned website at


What: The Fair at New Boston

Where: George Rogers Clark Park, 936 South Tecumseh Road, Springfield

When: Saturday, Sept. 1 and Sunday, Sept. 2, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission: Ages 12-older $10; active military with ID $7; children ages 6-11 $3; and children ages 5-under free

More info:

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.