Frequently Asked Questions

The Rendezvous will be held on September 9 and 10, 2017 - from 10am to 5pm (4pm on Sunday) at the Columbia Woods Forest Preserve in Willow Springs, Illinois.

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Q: What is it all about?
The Rendezvous is a fun, entertaining and educational reenactment of an annual meeting of voyageurs, frontiersmen, trappers, farmers and others to trade furs and other supplies.
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Q: Is it suitable for children?
Yes, There are many activities that are designed for children and families (games, a storyteller, a juggler, contests, etc.)
Q: Where is the event – your website says Columbia Woods in Willow Springs?
It is held in a Forest Preserve on the Des Plaines River in Willow Springs, Illinois. However, everyone must park in the United Parcel Service (UPS) employee parking lot on 75th street, east of Willow Springs Road. Directional signs will be posted throughout the area. A bus will take you to the Rendezvous from the UPS parking lot. Parking is free.
Q: How often do buses run?
A: Buses run continuously and both drop off and pick up at both the west and east ends of the Rendezvous campsite in Columbia woods.
Q: What are the hours?
A: 10am-5pm on Saturday, and 10am-4pm on Sunday.
Q: How much does it cost?

A: Free for kids under 6 years old. $10 for adults, $5 for senior citizens (over 62). $5 for children ages 6-17. $25 for a Family Pass for 1 or 2 adults and up to 4 children, age 6 - 12. Cash only please.

You will pay at the UPS employee parking lot before getting on one of the buses that takes you to Columbia Woods. Parking is free.

Q: How old do I have to be to qualify as a senior citizen?
A: We consider age 62 and older to qualify for a senior citizen discount on the Rendezvous entry price. Age 62 is consistent with the National Park Service definition which we believe is appropriate in the I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor.
Q: Can I leave and come back later the same day without
having to pay the entry fee again?
A: Yes, but make sure to ask to have your hand stamped at the UPS employee parking lot where you pay your initial entry fee. GOOD FOR SAME DAY ONLY.
Q: Can I bring someone in a wheelchair or attend if I am in a wheel chair?
A: Yes, there is a handicapped accessible bus to take you from the UPS lot to Columbia Woods. Once in Columbia Woods the paths are not paved, but are level solid earth surfaces that can be traversed in a wheel chair (will take moderate effort)
Q: Can I ride my bike to the event?
A: No bicycles or walk-ins are allowed due to safety and security reasons.
Q: Can I walk into the event in Columbia Woods?
A: No – for your safety and security, everyone must arrive at the Rendezvous on one of the buses that run continuously in and out of Columbia Woods from the UPS employee parking lot on 75th street.
Q: What if I just want to go to Columbia Woods Forest Preserve, but I don’t intend to go to the Rendezvous?
A: Sorry but you will not be allowed to enter. The entire Forest Preserve is reserved for the Rendezvous. The Public may utilize the site again starting on the monday after the event.
Q: Can I buy food?
A: Yes, there are a variety of food vendors at the Rendezvous. The food is similar to that eaten during the fur trade era – so you won’t find McDonalds – but you will find an interesting variety of foods such as grilled Ham and Cheese on Frye Bread,wild rice stew, kettle popped corn, ice cream, root beer, cider, etc.
Q: Can I bring or buy alcohol?
A: Alcohol is not allowed at the event.
Q: I’m very allergic to bee stings – should I attend?
A: No, we recommend that you do not attend. Some years there have been wasps and bees. We take measures to control them (traps & spray), but cannot guarantee that the event will be “bee free”.
Q: Can I bring a dog?
A: No. However, special exceptions can be made for seeing eye dogs etc
Q: Will the event be called off if it rains?
A: No, the event is scheduled for two days and will continue rain or shine.
Q: Is anything done for mosquito control?
A: Yes, just before the event the grass and weeds are cut. Then the area is sprayed by Des Plaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District and pellets are added to control mosquito larvae in any areas of standing water.