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    Bent's Old Fort

    National Historic Site Colorado

Schedule Of Events

Note: Events are subject to change. Check this website or phone (719)383-5010 for details and more information on these and other special events.

 
kitchenscene

Domestic women at work in the fort kitchen.

NPS

Frontier Skills Day: March 15, 2014
Adults are invited to take on various roles at the fort for a day. Be a hunter, blacksmith, trader, carpenter, laborer, or domestic. Nineteenth work tecniques accurate to the fort's history will be taught and experienced as part of their character role's regular work routine of the 1840s. Visitors are invited to observe the participants as they practice their skills. Space is limited and a fee of $20 and pre-registration is required. Call (719) 383-5026 for more information. Click here for a registration form.

 
trails and rails

Trails and rails narrators onboard AMTRACK.

NPS Photo

May 4 - September 1, 2014: Trails and Rails Trips
Narrated excursions aboard Amtrak's Sourhwest Chief depart La Junta, Colorado on Mondays and Fridays for overnight trips to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ride the train as it folllows the Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail up and over Raton Pass. Interprerters will tell the stories of the people, plants and animals that are found along the way. Train tickets must be purchased through an AMTRAC distributor. For information about narrated tour, call (719)383-5024.

 
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Santa Fe Encampment June 7, 2014 - 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. - Bent's Fort
Santa Fe Trail Caravan June 8, 2014 - 16 miles south of La Junta, Colorado
The park's main living history event for the year will feature historic interpretations of Santa Fe Trail traders, U.S. Army soldiers and Plains Indians. Experience the hey-day of the trail through ongoing demonstrations. Camps, set up near the fort, will be open for touring. All together over 50 living history volunteers bring the post back to life during this event! A caravan trail walk will take place along an original segment of the Santa Fe Trail 16 miles south of La Junta, Colorado. Click here for a site bulletin of the event.

 
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Fourth celebraiton parade

NPS

Frontier Fourth of July Celebration
Join in with the trappers, traders, and Bent and St. Vrain company employees as they celebrate Independence Day the way it was done in the 1840s. A parade, speeches, cannon firings, games, debates, and ice cream making will dominate the scene. The Fourth of July was one of the few holidays that was celebrated in the 1840s. Independence from England was only a couple generations earlier and fresh in many minds. Many frontiersman found a way to celebrate, usually by firing the guns, racing and gaming. Visitors will want to put in for a drawing for a 27 star U.S. flag that has flown over the fort that is accurate to the fort's time period. Click here for a schedule of the event.

 
adobe-pit

Kids work in the adobe pit making bricks.

NPS Photo

July 12, 2014: Kid's Quarters - FULL - call (719) 383-5026 to be put on "Standyby List"
Eleven to eleven year-old children are invited to "step back in time" and experience the life of a trapper, trader, laborer, craftsman, Indian, soldier or other roles. Kids learn and practice 19th century skills and experience living history for themselves. Fort staff and volunteers provide historically accurate ways for the children to experience work and life routine common at Bents' Fort in the 1840s. Many children come back year after year so they can experience as many lifestyles as possible.

 
talk

Trader talking with Knife Chief during a trade session.

NPS photo

Native American Heritage Day - November 8, 2014
The event provides a rare opportunity to learn the life of the Plains Indian when they were free and owners of their own destiny. Guest presenter Michael (Bad Hand) Terry, author of the book, "Plains Indians: Regalia and Customs" will display and demonstrate his outstanding collection of artifacts and tell the story of the Plains Indians. Two different trade scene re-enactments will be followed by guided tours. The all Native American cast, 1920 silent film, "The Daughter of Dawn" will be shown at the Koshare Kiva and Museum in La Junta that evening.

 
waiting to break the pinata

The Pinata break.

NPS

December 5-6, 2014: Holiday Celebration
Witness for yourself the joys, pleasures and pastimes of the 1840s at an isolated trading post. The spirit of the season comes alive with wagon rides, games, toy making, taffy pull, pinata break, frontier cooking, storytelling, and other holiday festivities. The event begins Friday evening, December 6 with candlelight tours of the fort and continues all through Saturday, December 7 culiminating with another evening of candlelight tours. For reservations for the eveing tour, phone (719) 383-5026 after November 1, 2014.

 
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Meeting Place For Trade. 

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2015 Fur Trade Symposium
On 23-26 September 2015, Bent's Old Fort N.H.S. will host the National Fur Trade Symposium. For the first time in 27 years, this Symposium will return to the Southern trapping and trading areas of the 19th Century. Registration and a fee will be rquired for the on and offsite parts of the program. The 2015 affair will be an opportunity to learn from the most highly qualified speakers, see and experience what life was like for all those involved in the Southern Rockies and Southern Plains fur industry. Numerous Living History demonstrators, of a number of ethnic groups and occupations, will, throughout the event, reveal what their life was like at the time. Period food, entertainment and other tastes of life at Bent's Fort will bring the attendees a truer feeling for the era and the lifestyle at Bent's Fort during its existence, 1833-1849. For more information about the event, click here.

 

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Did You Know?

Bent's Fort

Bent's Fort was on the boundary with Mexico in the 1830s and 1840s. It was 600 miles from the nearest town in Missouri.