Historic celebrations across America - July to December 2017
We've selected a variety of interesting historical events happening in the Second half of 2017 ranging from a Sternwheel Festival to a Pow-wow to a Gold Rush Festival and more.
Do you know of other historic festivals or celebrations that we should add to this list for history lovers, whether it's a past event or not? Add your recommendation in the comments and we may add it to the master list of America's Historic Celebrations.
2017 Golden Days
July 15 - 23, 2017
Festival highlights include the Old Tyme Games, Rubber Duckie Race, Comedy Night, Grizzly Alaskan Contest, Felix Pedro Look-alike Contest, BBQ Cook-off and the Grande Parade. This is the pinnacle of Golden Days activities and the largest parade in Alaska, with more than 100 floats, marching bands, clowns, jugglers, antique cars, unicycle riders and residents dressed in Gold Rush costumes.
Montcalm's Cross: The 1758 Battle of Carillon - Re-enactment
July 22 and 23, 2017
Fort Ticonderoga, New York
Witness the defeat of the British army against the French army a quarter of its size in the re-enactment of the epic, 1758 Battle of Carillon. Visitors will get the chance to meet the British and Provincial soldiers who gave their utmost to drive the French from the rocky peninsula and fortress of Carillon, later named Ticonderoga, climb aboard the boat Carillon and experience the fog of war and smoky haze of battle as the French and British armies maneuver across Fort Ticonderoga.
The Gathering at Garst
July 29 - 30, 2017
See the life of Native American Indians before the white settlers arrived. Reenactors donning period clothing demonstrate life back in the day and will share their stories of survival. Explore their camps and see cannon firing demonstrations, blacksmiths, basket weaver, box makers and skilled historic craftsmen create unique one-of-a-kind handmade pieces of art. Don’t hesitate to ask questions as the folks are friendly and eager to share their knowledge with visitors.
The 44th Zoar Harvest Festival & Antique Show
July 29 and 30, 2017
One of the nation’s most prestigious antique shows, this harvest festival will feature more than 60 dealers of high-quality country antiques selling historic treasures. Visitors won’t want to miss the Artisan Showcase tent housing handmade folk art, furniture, and fine crafts which are available for sale. Witness demonstrations of 19th-century methods in weaving, spinning, blacksmithing and butter churning, museum building tours, herding dog and working animal demonstrations, horse-drawn wagon rides and an antique car show.
42nd Annual Waldensian Festival
August 11 and 12, 2017
Valdese, North Carolina
Celebrated since 1976, on the second Saturday in August, this annual festival commemorates the "Glorious Return" of the Waldenses from exile in Switzerland to their native valleys in the Cottian Alps of Italy in 1689. Featuring the 50th Anniversary performance of the Outdoor Drama "From This Day Forward," tours of the P&W RR Museum, Waldensian Heritage Museum, Waldensian Trail of Faith and Waldensian Heritage Winery, unique crafts, a traditional Waldensian meal and top-quality entertainment.
The 51st Annual Goschenhoppen Folk Festival
August 11 and 12, 2017
This year's theme is "Handwarricks Gscharr (Tools of the Trade)". Discover the various Tools of the Trade and how they were utilized by the Pennsylvania Germans during the 18th and 19th Century. Discover the vanishing secrets of craftsmen during this time period, including rope making, wheelwright, tinsmith, blacksmith, cooper, gardener, seamstress, needleworker, hearth cooks, and more. Watch folklife presentations, try traditional tasty refreshments, tour the Antes House and much more.
19th Annual Western Legends Round-Up
August 21 - 26, 2017
Find out first-hand what it was like to be a cowboy or cowgirl in the Old West! in this annual festival featuring wagon train and wrangler rides in the glorious scenery of Bryce Canyon, The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and Kanab. As well as a Western Street Fair, High Noon Parade, live entertainment, barn dance, and celebrity appearances and autograph sessions with classic Western film stars.
47th Annual Historic New Berlin Day
August 26, 2017
New Berlin, Pennsylvania
One of the largest street festivals in a small town borough in central PA. Prepare to be entertained by strolling musicians, enjoy a smorgasbord of traditional Pennsylvania German and American festival foods and drinks, and visit the New Berlin Heritage Museum (originally, the 1815 Union County Courthouse) on their open house. There will also be a Civil War skirmish with a living history of camp life.
War of 1812 Encampment
September 2 and 3, 2017
Youngstown, New York
Relive and experience first-hand the surprise British assault on Fort Niagara. The attack originally took place on December 19, 1813, and will be recreated in real time on Saturday evening beginning at 7:00 p.m. During the day, activities such as tactical demonstrations, clothing programs, recruiting demonstrations and hands-on activities can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Sacramento Gold Rush Days
September 2 - 4, 2017
Old Sacramento, California
The streets of Old Sacramento “turn back the clock” to the Gold Rush era, transforming Sacramento’s historic district into a scene straight out of the 1850s. Featuring a recreation of town life in early Sacramento City where you can visit saloons, a gambling tent, doctors, dentists, and even an undertaker! Historic reenactments of Sacramento’s Squatter’s Riots & Pony Express Relays, gold panning for kids, Old West theatrics and family-friendly melodramas, traditional tasty treats and much more.
Fort Rowdy 25th Gathering
September 2 – 4, 2017
The Fort Rowdy Gathering weekend begins with an old-fashioned hometown parade on Saturday but the highlight of this festival is the mountain man encampment located next to the Stillwater River. Enjoy the hovering lights of campfires, groups playing guitars, drums, and washboards much like small trading villages once participated in the 1800s. As well as hawk & knife, spear throw, bow shoot, lizard pull, flint & steel, cooking contest, and rolling pin & skillet toss along with many games and contests for the children.
41st Annual Ohio River Sternwheel Festival
September 8 - 10, 2017
Attracting an estimated 100,000 people to the Marietta area during the weekend. Festival highlights include 30-35 authentic sternwheel boats that line the river bank, children’s activities, Coronation of Queen Genevieve, with scholarships awarded, Little Miss and Little Mr. Sternwheel Pageant, a Rollin’ Oldies Car Show, and a photo contest. This is a full weekend guaranteed with free, quality, family oriented entertainment and the best fireworks anywhere.
Old West Festival
Saturdays and Sundays; September 9 - October 15, 2017; Saturdays and Sundays
Step back to a time when famous lawmen like Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp reigned, where gamblers such as Doc Holliday played faro and Boothill was a place you didn’t want to be at the end of the night. Kids can pan for gold, watch puppet shows, participate in a family sing-along to period music like ‘Coming Round the Mountain’ and even get sworn in as deputies, that is if they take the official oath. Travel by covered wagons, ponies or horses, 19th century steam locomotive and watch shows including melodramas, saloon shows, magic, storytelling and Can Can dancers.
Old Car Festival
September 9 - 10, 2017
Rev it up for the longest-running antique car show in the country featuring hundreds of authentic vehicles from the 1890s through 1932. Wander through the village and talk to owners about their treasured vehicles. Watch drivers engage in games of skill, see a Model T assembled in just minutes, or just sit back and enjoy our experts sharing "car talks" while historic vehicles parade past. There’s the Saturday Gaslight Parade of cars, kerosene and early electric lamps, too, and a live orchestra performing favorite dance tunes of the 1920s.
Horse Cave Heritage Festival
September 15 - 16, 2017
Horse Cave, Ky
Each year thousand of local and visiting residents come to celebrate the heritage of this small community, often gathering as families and friends to remember a more simple time. The Horse Cave Heritage Festival consists of craft artisans, games, antique tractors, cars, and trucks and an array of business and food booths. Don't miss the crowd favorite antique tractor and car parade held on Saturday morning at 9:00 AM.
Great Mohican Pow-Wow
September 15 - 17, 2017
Learn Native American cultures and lifestyle through live music, dancing, and drum competitions plus storytelling and tomahawk throwing and fire starting demonstrations. In addition, there’s artisans, craftsmen and traders plus plenty of food.
39th Annual Jubilee: Festival of Black History & Culture
September 16, 2017
Columbia, South Carolina
Now in its 39th year, this FREE outdoor festival brings artisans, dancers, musicians, and storytellers together to celebrate South Carolina’s black history and culture. Featuring demonstration artists from across South Carolina, house tour of the Mann-Simons site, bus tours of important African American sites in downtown Columbia, family-friendly games and activities, food, art and outdoor vendors, live music and much more.
Connecticut Antique Machinery Association 's 2017 Kent Fall Festival
September 22 - 24, 2017
Take a free ride on Hawaii Railway #5, a restored 1925 Baldwin narrow gauge locomotive or watch live demonstrations of various antique steam engines and see the improved Industrial Hall of Steam and the Nagle-Corlis engine. You may also watch demonstrations in the Blacksmith Shop and the saw mill. Lastly, not to be missed is the famous "Engineer's Vegetable Beef Soup" and pie with ice cream. All these and more at the upcoming Kent Fall Festival.
21st Annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival and Celebration
October 4 - 8, 2017
This year, be a part of the next generation's stories of sheep ranching as we meet our mission to gather, present and preserve the history and culture of sheep herding in Idaho and the West. The Festival is five days of nonstop family events including multicultural performers, storytelling, culinary events and cooking classes, a Fiber Festival, Championship Sheepdog Trials, a Sheepherder’s Ball and the Big Sheep Parade with 1,500 sheep trailing down Main Street in Ketchum, Idaho.
Coloma Gold Rush Live
October 12 -15, 2017
Visitors will step back in time to a vibrant and bustling tent town set during the 1850's rubbing elbows with miners, gamblers, a doctor, a pharmacist, pioneer cooks, musicians, visit a post office as well as a bakery and candy shop. Activities include kids games, tin punching, candle dipping, rope making and more. There is a portrait studio for old time photos, wagon rides, and a saloon where you can grab some spirits or a sarsaparilla and so much more!
Madison County Covered Bridge Festival
October 14th & 15th, 2017
This year marks the 48th annual celebration of the Madison County Covered Bridge Festival. Experience the world famous covered bridges, crafts and old-time demonstrations, annual quilt and car shows, cowboys from the wild west, continuous entertainment, family fun.
Historic Appomattox Railroad Festival
October 14 - 15, 2017
The annual festival highlights include a parade, classic car show, rodeo, teddy bear parade, Firefighter's competition, amusements and rides, arts and craft vendors, train exhibits, fireworks, old-time homemade foods and music by The Bellamy Brothers, Confederate Railroad and other artists.
15th Annual American Heritage Festival
November 16th - 18th, 2017
Queen Creek, Arizona
The largest and most diverse living history event in the Western United States presenting a grand scale, highly interactive educational presentation of diverse civilian and military aspects of historic American life. Featuring re-enactments, dramatic portrayals of both famous and everyday men, women, children, musicians, artisans, craftsmen, singers, colonists, pioneers, mountain men, soldiers and more ranging from Colonial times up to the Vietnam War era.
If you have a favorite that belongs on this list, please let us know. And if you're looking for a special gift for a history lover, check out our store, which is what funds the operation and expansion of The History List. You'll find shirts and stickers with our original design, special commemorative shirts, and signed books by noted historians.