18th century-themed Tavern Festival in Keene 

  • The Wyman Tavern Festival begins with a fife and drum parade along Main Street in Keene. This year’s festival will be held June 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Courtesy

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 1:10PM

When Isaac Wyman and his family operated the Wyman Tavern 250 years ago, they would not have envisioned people walking along Keene’s Main Street with smartphones or driving by in automobiles. But they would have been comfortable making people feel welcome and sharing what the community had to offer in one of Keene’s most important gathering places at that time.

On Saturday, June 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the public will be welcome to return to the 18th century at the Wyman Tavern Festival, 339 Main St. in Keene. This is the seventh year that the Historical Society has put on the festival in partnership with reenactors, demonstrators of crafts, musicians, and volunteers.

There is something for people of all ages at the Wyman Tavern Festival. Families can watch a blacksmith, a cooper, a tinsmith, a milliner, a chair rusher, or a wood carver at work. Children can learn to walk on stilts, make a corn husk doll, or participate in a treasure hunt. They can try out games such as Shut the Box, Game of Graces, Whist, Goose, or Road to Boston.

There is a fife and drum parade and the firing of muskets. There is harpsichord music, English County dance, Finnish dance, and the incomparable Shape Note Singers. There are performances about politics and daily life in Keene in 1774. Refreshments will be available for sale throughout the day such as the Wyman Tavern’s own Rhubarb Cooler, a refreshing (non-alcoholic) drink.

Admission for the Wyman Tavern Fest is $5 per person, $12 for families. For a schedule of the day’s events or to purchase tickets, go to hsccnh.org.

The Wyman Tavern is located at 339 Main Street in Keene, and is operated by the Historical Society of Cheshire County. The organization has been collecting, preserving, and communicating the history of Cheshire County for 91 years. The Society puts on about 150 programs each year to help people of all ages “find their place in history.” Throughout the summer, the Wyman Tavern is open to the public for guided tours at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. each Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. For a list of special tours and events at the tavern, visit hsccnh.org or call (603) 352.1895.