August 11 & 12, 2023
Step back in time at the Port Oneida Fair and experience life as it was in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Imagine the life of Euro-American immigrants as you help bale hay or watch a broom-maker at work. Learn about spinning, basket weaving, soap making, butter making, candle dipping, and fur trapping. Listen as park rangers and local historians share the area's history. Watch as teams of oxen haul hay and artists and craftsmen demonstrate their skills.
The fair is held at six of the historic farmsteads in Port Oneida. Each farm has a variety of artists, crafts, food, and activities for visitors. Click on the farm names below to see what's happening at each farm. A shuttle bus runs between the farms on a regular schedule during the fair, so you can park your car and easily get around to the different venues.
The following list provides a few examples of volunteer activities for the Port Oneida Fair:
Demonstrate a skill
Sign up to demonstrate a skill or facilitate an activity. Demonstrations must fit with the Port Oneida period, 1870s to 1930s.
We are seeking demonstrators of traditional skills from the 1800s - early 1900s, such as canning, quilting, soapmaking, painting, sculpting or other art, basket weaving, knitting, candle making, etc. Craft must be demonstrated or offer hands-on activities for visitors, such as assisting with part of the demonstration or practicing the craft.
Demonstrators who wish to sell items must:
e-mail us with your traditional skill and contact information.
If you are a food vendor that would like to sell food at one of the various sites, please contact Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear at
Submit a work of art
To help celebrate the fair, the Port Oneida Fair committee prints a fair poster. The committee is always looking for potential poster art. If you have painted a recognizable scene in the Port Oneida district and want to share, please consider submitting it for the poster.
It’s easy to submit your work. Just email the highest possible quality image (jpg, tif, gif, or png) under 1MB to e-mail us, and include the title, size, and medium of the work.
Selecting the winner
Submissions will be juried by the Port Oneida Fair Poster Committee. If we choose your artwork, we will require a high-resolution image for printing. You would retain all ownership rights of the original artwork.
Fair events at the Dechow Farm
10:00 am - 4:00 pmFood:
Moomer's Ice Cream
Kathy Schutt—Horse and Wagon Rides, Horse teams working fields
Trisha Wilson -- Donkeys
Cathy Cole. Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes—Information and Scavenger Hunt
Sue Ann Carpenter—Hand spun wool
Schwenk’in Wagon--Food Service-Lunch both days and Breakfast on Saturday morning
NPS Interpretation—Natural history hikes, barn tour, etc.
Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network—Invasive education (Friday only)
Colin Bohash—Antique Bicycles
Sue and Michael Duncan—Farm animals and Chickens
Bob Plummer —Moomers Ice Cream and Calves in Barn Stalls
Cathy Siterlet—Hand weaving and Basket Making
Kathleen Bieri, Spring Hollow Farm—Rug Weaving
Susie Viswat—Vintage Glass Jar/Mason Jar History and Tumbled Glass Treasures
Paul Dechow—Dechow Family History
Empire Area Museum—Wind-up musical instruments
Cathye Williams—Goat Milk Soap Making
Peggy Roth—Mrs. Dechow leads tours of the Barn “The Past in Present Time”
Grace Johnson—Historic Photographs and Maps of the Area
Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear—2022 Poster Sales and Donation Can
Traverse City Model A Club—10 Autos
Youth Work and City Girl Farm—Goats conducting Conservation Grazing
Xi and Del Bromley and Ania Spitzner—Beekeeping and Native Species Habitat for Pollinators
Patti Rudolph—Chair Caning
Sue Nichols – Felted and Knit Items
Claude Fields – Maple Grove Cemetery
Rudy Rudolph and Claude Fields—Single Engine Motors
Grow Benzie - Native Seeds
Rudy Rudolph and Claude Fields – Old Engine Display
Fair events and demonstrators at the Kelderhouse Farm and Orchard
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Fair events at the Schoolhouse
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
“School Days in a One Room Schoolhouse” (11 am, 1pm & 3 pm)
Fair Events at the Burfiend Barn
Antique Farm Hand Tools
Fair events at the Olsen Farm
Charles Olsen Farm/Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear—Shuttle Stop; horse and wagon stop
Penny Rug Making
Old Tyme Photography
Tom VanZoeren – oral history recording; his books; Port Oneida History
Dulcimer – Jerry Kloock
Sewing – bonnet patterns
Preservation Station- see what we’re restoring or making using traditional methods
Historic Cooking Demonstrations/food-ways
Olsen Barn Tours
Bread and Butter - butter churning, story boards about milling of grain; interpret cream separator
Ice Cream – Cherry Republic
Wood toy boats and trough fishing
Vegetable and Flower Garden
Float your boat – make wood boat from our templates
Root Cellar – storyboard– samples of vegetables
Fair events at the Thoreson Farm
Friday, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm - Sleeping Bear Stories: Two Lost Tales of the Past Presented by Beach Bards and Co.
Last updated: February 1, 2023