After a two-year hiatus due to covid, the Colonial Market Fair has returned! This celebration of 18th century history and early American life invites visitors to mingle with re-enactors, artisans, and musicians that will keep members of the entire family entertained. Watch a blacksmith and a woodwright at work or try your hands at spinning wool, rope making, or basket weaving. Take a short hike on wooded trails or explore gardens and an orchard. Participate in these and many more activities at this free, family-friendly, outdoor event on Saturday, June 11, and Sunday, June 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum, 300 Oella Avenue, Catonsville, MD 21228. Admission is free; however, a $5 parking donation is appreciated.

The Colonial Market Fair is a joint venture sponsored by the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks and the Benjamin Banneker Foundation, a volunteer group whose mission is to preserve Benjamin Banneker’s legacy through educational activities and conservation initiatives.

Benjamin Banneker was an extraordinary, self-educated, free African American. His zest for knowledge led him to become an accomplished mathematician, inventor, author of six published almanacs, astronomer, abolitionist, and surveyor of our nation’s capital. When he was not stargazing, you could find him maintaining his one-hundred-acre tobacco farm, orchard, and apiary. Today this site serves as the location of the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum. Upon your arrival, stroll through the Banneker permanent gallery and an 18th-century reconstructed cabin to learn more about this dynamic individual.

The highlighted guest attending this year’s Colonial Market Fair will be James Forten, portrayed by Keith Henley. He will be at the event on Saturday only. A former prisoner of war during the American Revolution, Forten would later become a lucrative business owner who manufactured and sold ship sails. By 1832 he had acquired a fortune of about $100,000, roughly two million dollars in today’s currency. Like Banneker, he was an abolitionist who spoke against the inequality of life for African Americans, both enslaved and free. He was also a proponent of women’s rights during the early 19th century. Join this American icon as he shares his inspirational life story.

The Colonial Market Fair has something for everyone, music and dance, games and crafts, and history and culture. Bring a picnic lunch or enjoy vegetarian and non-vegetarian food options from a local vendor, Flair Cuisine. Unplug and reconnect to simpler times so memories may be created for generations to come.

For more information, visit or call (410) 887-1081.

This event is sponsored by the Benjamin Banneker Foundation, Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks, Patapsco Heritage Greenway, Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, Harris Teeter, and the Baltimore Folk Music Society. 

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