Peter wentz

Learn about civilian life in 1864 at this unique family-friendly fair!

LANSDALE, PA.–The Peter Wentz Farmstead will host an interactive Civil War weekend with family-friendly activities May 18-19. The event will celebrate the 160th Anniversary of the Great Central Sanitary Fair of Philadelphia with musical performances, craft vendors, and Civil War-era reenactments.

Performances include rousing music from the Fort Delaware Cornet Band plus impressive artillery and infantry demonstrations from Union soldiers. Kids who feel inspired to join the Union’s noble cause can even enlist themselves at the 71st PA Volunteers’ recruiting station.

Other activities include wet-plate photography demonstrations, a Victorian fashion show, and the mysterious Fiji Mermaid at the Tent of Curiosities. Visitors can peruse the stalls of historic and modern vendors and local artists producing hand-made baskets, jewelry, candles, and more. In addition to these special activities, the Museum Shop will be open, and the Farmstead will be offering first-floor tours of the Historic House. Food will be available at BB Kitchen and Grill’s food truck.

Guests will also learn what it was like for Pennsylvania civilians living in a war-torn nation and how the US Sanitary Commission assisted the war effort.

In 1864, the US Sanitary Commission hosted the Great Central Sanitary Fair of Philadelphia – an event organized to raise funds for soldiers’ aid during the Civil War. Held in the heart of the city at Logan Square, the original fair featured 200,000 square feet of vendors. The fair raised over a million dollars and President Abraham Lincoln even made an appearance to support the cause.

Peter Wentz Farmstead will celebrate the 160th anniversary of this momentous event with an interactive, family-friendly version of the Sanitary Fair. Visitors will meet members of the US Sanitary Commission – a group primarily made up of women who raised money, staffed field hospitals and disabled soldiers’ homes, ran kitchens in army camps, made necessary supplies, sewed clothes for soldiers, and hosted Sanitary Fairs in support of the Union Army. Guests will also hear about Pennsylvania’s history with slavery and the state’s many connections to the Underground Railroad.

All ages are welcome to participate in this free event and no registration is required, although a $2 donation per person is suggested. Performances are scheduled throughout the weekend:

· Saturday, May 18: Flag Ceremony at 10:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.; Artillery and Military Demonstrations at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.; Call to Arms – Kids Enlist! at 1:00 p.m.; performances by Fort Delaware Cornet Band throughout the day.

· Sunday, May 19: Flag Ceremony at 10:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.; 19th Century Baseball Game at 11:00 a.m.; Call to Arms – Kids Enlist! at 1:00 p.m.; Artillery and Military Demonstrations at 2:00 p.m.

For more information about this program and others, please call the Peter Wentz Farmstead at 610-584-5104 or visit


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