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article imagePhoto essay: Mount Vernon Fair recreates 18th century marketplace Special

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By Leigh Goessl
Sep 24, 2012 in Lifestyle
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Mount Vernon - Over the weekend the annual Colonial Market & Fair was held at the Mount Vernon estate in Northern Virginia. Mount Vernon is the home of U.S. first president George Washington.
For months the Mount Vernon Events team has been planning the annual fair, which is described as a "one of a kind" in North America.
Over 40 vendors were present for the event, which included an 18th century chocolate making demonstration, along with several forms of Colonial-era entertainment.
Throughout the market several groups of musicians could be heard, and visitors walking on the outskirts of the market could see the encampment of living history re-enactments, bringing to life the First Virginia Regiment.
Members of the First Virginia Regiment speak to visitors at Mount Vernon at the annual Colonial Mark...
Members of the First Virginia Regiment speak to visitors at Mount Vernon at the annual Colonial Market and Fair
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Artisans skilled in a variety of crafts could be observed in the various tents across the marketplace as shoppers examined and purchased their wares.
Common Folk Farm was one of the many vendors present for the weekend event. Here one could buy a var...
Common Folk Farm was one of the many vendors present for the weekend event. Here one could buy a variety of herb mixtures, soup mix, jellies, teas and more.
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Shoppers examine handmade pewter ornaments
Shoppers examine handmade pewter ornaments
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A variety of handmade soaps could be purchased at this tent. The pretty scents were noticeable sever...
A variety of handmade soaps could be purchased at this tent. The pretty scents were noticeable several 'storefronts' away.
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The Market Square, which was located under a tent and set up to resemble an 18th century-style gathering place, drew much of the day's attention. Visitors came in and sat upon the bales of hay to watch the day's performances which included Signora Carmella Bella, the Great Equilibrist & Juggler, Otto the Swordswallower, The James Rose Puppets with a presentation of "Punch & Judy", and Dr. Balthasar, Miracle Medicine for Man and Beast. The entertainers brought laughter, astonishment and disbelief to the audiences in a variety of Colonial-era performances held throughout the day.
Otto the Swordswallower returned again this year to Mount Vernon s annual event. Here he is warming ...
Otto the Swordswallower returned again this year to Mount Vernon's annual event. Here he is warming up for the sword swallowing portion of his show.
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As part of the day s entertainment was the traditional  Punch & Judy  puppet show which has roots da...
As part of the day's entertainment was the traditional "Punch & Judy" puppet show which has roots dating back hundreds of years.
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James Rose  who performed  Punch & Judy  brought out his marionette to show the children after the s...
James Rose, who performed "Punch & Judy" brought out his marionette to show the children after the show. The children all sat in a large circle; here he waves to a couple of them.
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Dr. Balthasar speaks to the crowd about his $2 miracle medicine that he said would cure all ails.
Dr. Balthasar speaks to the crowd about his $2 miracle medicine that he said would cure all ails.
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General Washington also stopped by to speak at the square in between his busy day of overseeing the market's activity.
 General Washington  speaks to a group of his guests
'General Washington' speaks to a group of his guests
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The event, which has been held annually at Mount Vernon for over 15 years, is a popular event for locals and visitors. The weekend proved to be perfect in terms of weather for a fair as sunny skies and comfortable temperatures arrived simultaneously with the start of autumn.
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