River Rendezvous 2022
One of the finest living-history events in the Midwest returns to Pond Dakota Mission Park in Bloomington!
Experience the lifestyles of people living in Minnesota between 1800 and 1870 through story-telling and interactive, hands-on demonstrations. Tours of the restored 1856 Gideon and Agnes Pond House will be given throughout the day.
- September 24, 2022, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Pond Dakota Mission Park, 401 East 104th Street, Bloomington
- Open to the public
- Adults (age 18+) - $10
- Children age 4-17 - $5
- Children 3 and under - Free
Enjoy fun, interactive, fascinating and historically accurate demonstrations, reenactments, storytelling and more! See below for the full list of what you'll experience at River Rendezvous 2022. Map locations are included for each station.
Arts, Crafts and Craftsmanship
- Blacksmith (C1): Blacksmiths demonstrate the traditional tools and methods of creating items out of iron and steel.
- Candle Making (B7): Using traditional methods, make your own candle to take home and learn how candles were historically produced.
- Coopering (B12): See and learn traditional methods for making wooden casks, barrels and other containers from timber.
- Hide Tanning (B10): See and learn about the traditional methods of making leather pliable and suitable for clothing and other uses—through leather tanning.
- Historic Pottery (C7): Join potter Jasper Bond as he demonstrates old world pottery making techniques on a traditional hand turned potter’s wheel.
- Log Cabin Building (D9): By putting together Pond Dakota’s own buildable scale model of a traditional log cabin, learn about how they were built and the type of woodworking skills that were needed in creating cabins on the frontier.
- Metal Working (C4)
- Quill Pen and Ink (B2): Learn the history of the quill pen and try your hand at writing using this traditional method.
- Spinning and Fiber (C2): Using a traditional spinning wheel, you can try your hand at spinning yarn. Discover how fibers were historically utilized in the creation of cloth.
- The Painter's Craft (C9): Learn about historic materials used in painting and the creation of paint pigments, and the role of the artists in US history.
- Tin Working (C5): See how tin is formed into many useful household implements by our expert tin smith.
- Woodworking and Joinery (C6): See and learn about the tools of traditional woodworking prior to electricity.
Daily Life and Careers
- Early Frontier Living (B4): See the tools and household items commonly used by people on the American frontier.
- Frontier First Aid (B9): What did people do for medical care on the frontier when there wasn’t a doctor nearby?
- Historical Clothing (B3): Clothing has changed much throughout the centuries—see many example of historic clothing and compare to what we wear today.
- Hunter, Trapper, and Farmer (B5): On the frontier, people often had to be adept at many trades in order to survive.
- Land Surveyor (B14): See the tools of the trade and learn about the role of the surveyor in history.
- Laundry on the Frontier (D3): Before modern washers and dryers, people had a process to go through to get clean clothes. Try your hand at using a washboard, and the other historic tools used in this endeavor.
- One Room Schoolhouse (D6): Experience what learning was like in a rural one room school house
Food and Drink
- Apple Pressing/Cider Making (D5): Join naturalist Leah to learn traditional cider making methods and try your hand at using an apple grinder and press and learn how homemade apple juice and cider are made. Saturday Only
- Chuck Wagon (C8): On the open range the chuck wagon was needed to keep cowboys and workers fed. Experience an authentic chuck wagon and all of its associated contents.
Fun and Games
- 19th Century Magic (B15): In the 19th Century, street magicians amazed crowds with impossible tricks.
- 19th Century Games (A3 & A4): Prepare for fun as you play many of the games commonly played by kids in the 1800’s.
- Civil War Storytelling (B1): Renowned New York based storyteller Luann Adams shares gripping true stories of the Civil War.
- Pond House (D1 & D2): Learn about the Pond family, important figures in Bloomington and Minnesota history.
- Norwegian Immigrant Ole Olson (C3): 19th century Scandinavian immigrants often moved to America with nothing other than a single trunk of possessions. Experience the life and times of the Scandinavian immigrant.
- Teddy Roosevelt (A2): One of the foremost Roosevelt reenactors in the nation portrays and teaches about the life and times of Teddy Roosevelt, including discussing his many important conservation efforts.
- Voyageur (B11): History of the fur trade and the Voyageurs’ role in early US and Minnesota history.
- Westward Expansion (B13): Learn about the early era of westward expansion in the US.
- Westward Woman (B8): Explore the role of women on the frontier.
- Indigenous Dance (A1): Saturday Only
- Dakota Language and Games (D6): Learn about Dakota language and how to make and play a traditional Dakota game. The rules are simple but the games can go for hours!
- Lakota Beadwork (D8): Traditional Lakota beadwork and design. Saturday Only
- Ojibwe Seasonal Life (B6): Learn about how the Ojibwe in Minnesota historically gathered food and subsisted from season to season.
Nature and the Environment
- Minnesota Valley Story (D10): Learn about the historical importance of the Minnesota River Valley to the many people who have called it home.
Free parking is available at Gene Kelly Playfield parking lots, on side streets adjacent to Pond Dakota Mission Park, and on both the north and south sides of E. 104th Street between Portland and Nicollet avenues. Parking may be available at Holy Emmanuel Lutheran Church but could be limited due to a church event taking place at the same time as River Rendezvous. See map below. Limited handicap accessible parking will be available at the event site.
Merchandise and Souvenir Vendors
Pineapple's Place Trading offers authentic and unique historical items you can purchase to remember your trip to River Rendezvous.
- A wide array of handmade, custom pewter items
- Jewelry and pendants
- And much more!
Items available in all price ranges. Something for everyone from adults to kids.
2022 School Days registration is closed. If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact Mark Morrison, Recreation Supervisor, at 952-563-8693 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
School Days are back for River Rendezvous 2022! Special days set aside and dedicated to students will take place Thursday, September 22 and Friday, September 23. Depending on the number of registrants, Wednesday, September 21 may also be added.
Programming details of these inclusive and exclusive educational field trip days are still being developed. But below are some documents that you can download to learn more and prepare to sign up for this exciting living history adventure back in time to Minnesota in the 1800s!
In the meantime, if you have questions or would like information, please call 952-563-8693.
Information for Bloomington Schools
Information for Non-Bloomington Schools
Download, print and complete the standard form, or download and complete the fillable form on your computer or mobile device. See submission instructions on the form.
Registration Form (print, complete and submit)
Fillable Registration Form (download, complete and submit)