California State Parks, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park (SHP) and Friends of Sutter’s Fort will present a vibrant, educational and fun three-day event – Shop Traders’ Faire – on Friday, April 20 through Sunday, April 22. Offered just once a year, this lively and highly anticipated interpretive event takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day and offers a unique shopping bazaar where visitors can purchase one-of-a-kind reproductions from vendors dressed in period attire. In addition, Fort visitors will gain unique insights into the early days of the Fort when it served as a central and critically important trading post, and have the opportunity to step back in time to experience what California’s first shopping mall was like in the 1840s. And, in celebration of Photography Month Sacramento happening in April, Friends of Sutter’s Fort is offering a special InstaMeet on Sunday, April 22, where community members active on Instagram are encouraged to visit the Fort to take photos of the bustling activity during the final day of the Shop Traders’ Faire.
While it is common knowledge that Sutter’s Fort marked the beginning of Sacramento, few people understand how the Fort served as a thriving commercial center in the early days of the Gold Rush. In fact, it was the only trading center on the way to the gold fields and literally thousands of gold miners passed through the Fort to purchase needed supplies from vendors hawking a variety of goods. Thus, Sutter’s Fort essentially became California’s first shopping mall. A score of merchants operated at the Fort, a sampling of which included Brannan and Co. general store; Hensley, Reading and Co. hardware store; Priest, Lee and Co. mining equipment; Peter Burnett, lawyer and real estate firm; Joseph Wadleigh, tinsmith and even a newspaper known as the Placer Times.
During the bustling Shop Traders’ Faire three-day event and amid a lively shopping atmosphere, Fort visitors can watch artisans create pioneer goods for sale such as clothing, housewares, toys, beads and knives. Guests will also have the opportunity to make their own crafts, haggle with traders, hammer square nails and enjoy demonstrations of black powder weapons periodically throughout the day. In addition to the interactive opportunities, guests can also shop for artisan made hand-crafted items that make for treasured keepsakes, gifts and collectibles.
Admission to this special event at Sutter’s Fort SHP is $7 per adult (18 and older), $5 per youth (ages 6 to 17) and is free for children 5 and under (regular admission pricing is $5 per adult, $3 for youth).
For more, call 916-445-4422 or visit SuttersFort.org