The love of history has brought a lot of people to the various shooting sports celebrated in America today.

The love of history has brought a lot of people to the various shooting sports celebrated in America today. The lure of those beautiful, long rifles can make anyone want to be a part of a life they can only imagine, if only for a weekend. Participating in a shooting match with black powder and an elegant American long rifle has few equals as far as any historical activity available.

Missouri has two different statewide organizations dedicated to preserving the atmosphere and experience of the old time shooting matches and rendezvous. The Missouri Black Powder Society is a relatively new group which celebrates the use of black powder in shooting sports. Rifles, pistols, shotguns and any acitivity and historical use of them are of primary interest.

The Missouri Off Hand Association is a much older organization — started in the mid-1980s. They have sponsored shooting event across Missouri.

The Pomme de Terre Rendezvous was started years ago to bring a little of the fun and excitement of days gone by to the youth and young at heart of rural Missouri.

The 28th Annual Pomme de Terre Black Powder Rendezvous will be May 3 and 4. The event will start with breakfast at 7 a.m. prepared by the American Legion Post 785. Gates will open at 7 a.m. for the early birds and opening ceremonies will be at 9 a.m. at the end of the blacktop.

The flag will be raised and the National Anthem will be sung followed by opening prayer. The guest speaker will give a message about the Black Powder Rendezvous. A non-denominational church service will be held at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning.

The vendors will open at 8 a.m. on the blacktop area (lower level). The Lions club will be there again this year to help collect admissions at the front gate. The Historical Society and Hickory Co. Traditions, the Plant Lady, Eagle Scouts among miscellaneous other vendors selling homemade or handmade wares will be here.

The black powder and the pre-1840 encampment will begin after the opening ceremonies (upper level). A lot of work has been done by the individuals who are coordinating the Black Powder and Encampment areas. The purpose of the Black Powder Rendezvous is to educate all individuals that want to learn a little about the pre-1840 life as it was in this area. The French Artillery is coming back this year. 18th Century music and 18th Century gardening will be included.

The Navajo Indian dancers will perform at different times.

Live music is scheduled, along with local organizations, will be plying their wares.

The Black Powder Rendezvous committee has started a Scholarship presentation for all four schools in Hickory County to be given each year. The committee has worked very hard to have a successful Black Powder Rendezvous. We hope to see you and come enjoy the weekend at the Outlet Park.

On of the highlights of the event is the French Colonial Artillery.

In the late 1750s, there was a bitter struggle for control of North America. The British and their colonies were trying to force the peace loving French out of New France.

The American Colonist continually invaded into Colonial France, and the French were forced to fight to hold their lands.

The French Colonial Artillery was comprised of the elite troops, and their companies were formed while in New France. They severed as Grenadiers, bombardiers, and cannoneers. They were stationed at scattered Forts, but they were all called together for the major battles.

The French influence remained strong for many years, and even to this day, it can be seen.