An 1812 encampment will take Fort Jennings Park back in time next weekend for Fort Fest. (DHI Media file photo)
An 1812 encampment will take Fort Jennings Park back in time next weekend for Fort Fest. (DHI Media file photo)

Years ago it was known as “Homecoming.” A time for family and friends to enjoy each others company during a two day parish festival. It’s a time for families to get together and enjoy games and good food. Play bingo or the money wheel. Kiddie games and a kiddie tractor pull, registration at 1:30 p.m. and pull starts at 2:30 p.m., along with a Country Store, Farmers Market and a beer tent will be there to enjoy. Dine in or use the very convenient drive-thru carry-out for some good food. Tonight, burgers, beverages and a 5K run/walk round out the evening. So come out to Fort Jennings and celebrate “Homecoming.”

Next weekend is Fort Fest. Since 2012, Fort Fest has celebrated the rich military history of “The Fort.“ 207 years ago, Fort Jennings was a vital military outpost during the War of 1812. For the past six years, Fort Jennings has been the gathering place, on the historic site of the old Fort, for everyone to celebrate this great history and the sacrifices of all our beloved veterans.

For the first time in history, all four traveling memorials, The Moving Wall, The traveling Korean Memorial, The Traveling World War II Memorial and The Replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, will be on display at the same place.

As part of Fort Fest, the Fort Jennings Historical Society puts together the area’s largest military museum featuring loaned artifacts from local veterans and their families. A temporary display, the “Hometown Heroes Exhibit” is redesigned annually and this incredible museum exists only for Fort Fest.

Participate as an individual or in a team in the Fort Fest FIT Dash, a fun and challenging military style obstacle course consisting of 12 obstacles. The dash starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Fort Jennings High School. There will be prizes for the top three individual and team obstacle course finishers.

A wide variety of military reenactments, military vehicles and military displays can be found at the park. Kids from kindergarten to sixth grade can participate in a day camp which includes demonstrations and active participation in period arts, crafts and games, living history military and village life, Native American warfare and culture presentations, drill with militia, tomahawk throw and much more.

Come see the classics to the newest vehicles in the annual car show.

Cheer on your favorite duck at the Duck Races, hosted by the Fort Jennings Lions Club, and have a great time.

The three-day event will begin with the arrival of the American Huey 369 and the Honor Run Biker escort into town. So next weekend, Aug. 16-18, come to the first “Purple Heart Village” and help us thank our veterans for their service and let them know how proud we are of them. Come support our park and the military history we cherish here in Fort Jennings.