Every year, on Memorial Day weekend, a special “Feast of the Ste. Claire committee” in Port Huron puts together and presents a living re-enactment of 18th century life. This Open to the Public event consists of over 600 re-enactors with more than 100 colonial style camps set up in beautiful Pine Grove Park (on the St Clair river) in Port Huron, Michigan. This year’s Feast (May 2020) will be the 40th consecutive year for this very informative and educational event.
The Feast of the Ste. Claire recreates and demonstrates the four periods of early Michigan history in the Blue Water area. These periods are represented at the Feast by four camps – depicting Native Americans, French explorers, British traders, and American revolutionaries. Historic hobbyists from all over the Great Lakes Area attend this event, recreating living history with their displays. Staying in their historic, time period camps, these re-enactors provide an example of the daily life style of the eighteenth and nineteenth century. There are ongoing demonstrations of early American living, cooking, crafts, and activities. The many Merchants and Traders of the Feast have a large variety of colonial style items and foods for sale. Period musicians, string bands, and street hawkers provide atmosphere and fun throughout the day. Saturday evening features a Candlelight Tour of the encampment followed by an early American Colonial Dance. The Feast is a not-for-profit entity and it is entirely open to the public. A small admission fee is charged, with all proceeds from this event going to help promote and support the activities happening within the Feast itself. The Feast derives its name from the fact that the early 16th century French explorers discovered a Lake and a River on the Catholic Feast day of Saint Clare (French Ste Claire). In those days it was customary to name important discoveries in honor of saints – hence Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River got named. Our present day re-enactment also derived its name from this important discovery.
The Feast of the Ste Claire is a non profit corporation and it is a 501 (c) 3 organization with the stated mission “The purpose of this non-profit corporation shall be to educate the public in the history of the Great Lakes Area by staging historic re enactments. Financial help is still needed, if you would like to contribute please contact Harry Burgess (Feast Committee Chairman) at 810 841-6412. Additionally, each year, the Feast Committee produces a Souvenir booklet containing stories, recipes, remedies, and other tales pertaining to the period the Feast depicts. This booklet will be on sale at this year’s event. Advertising contained within it does help contribute to the Feast’s annual startup costs, if you are interested in advertising in this booklet please Contact Anna Garrett at 810 -30-8336.