Campfires & Candlelight 2010

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Date: September 16, 2010
Contact: Kimm Fox-Middleton, 360-816-6243


VANCOUVER, WA -- As a reminder, September 18 is the date for "Campfires and Candlelight," Fort Vancouver's largest annual costumed re-enactment and its signature community event.

The event will begin at Pearson Air Museum, which will focus on pre-World War II aircraft and will feature a dramatic lighting scheme to complement the candlelight ambience at the fort.

In the field between air museum and the fort, visitors will walk along the park's new Spruce Mill Trail, stroll back in time through the "Timeline of History" and experience reenactor encampments featuring U.S. Army soldiers, Oregon Trail immigrants and the residents of Fort Vancouver’s Village.

Once inside the Fort, visitors can travel back to September 13, 1846 when Fort Vancouver was buzzing with activity, providing relief for the U.S.S. Shark, an American naval ship that had recently left Fort Vancouver and wrecked at the mouth of the Columbia River. Visitors can explore the fort by candlelight and see what various workers at Fort Vancouver will do to help the Shark's officers and crew.

The entire event is free of charge.


4:00 p.m.

Pearson Air Museum opens; it will feature a dramatic lighting scheme to complement the candlelight ambience at the fort.

Timeline of history by campfire opens: it will feature several encampments of costumed reenactors, including:

U.S. Army camps at the Vancouver Barracks: drills, black powder demonstrations every hour throughout the evening.

Circa 1940s – World War II: 18th Engineer Regiment

Circa 1870s - Indian Wars Period

Circa 1860s - Civil War Period by 1st Oregon Volunteer Infantry

Oregon Trail camp circa 1849: stories of adventure

The Company Village camp circa 1846: Fort Vancouver’s Village was home to people from diverse cultures and languages. Hear Chinook Jargon, music, stories and view games and dancing

The Fort Vancouver Garden circa 1846


5:00 p.m.

Howitzer Firing in the 1st Oregon Volunteer Infantry Camp

Fort Vancouver’s stockade opens; visitors can travel back in time to September 13, 1846 when Fort Vancouver is buzzing with activity following the wreck of the USS Shark


7:00 p.m.

Reenactment of Dinner in the Ladies Mess, Barclay Quarters, Counting House


8:00 p.m.

Reenactment of Servants’ dinner in the kitchen


9:00 p.m.

Howitzer firing in the 1st Oregon Volunteer Infantry Camp


10:00 p.m.

Howitzer Firing in the 1st Oregon Volunteer Infantry Camp

Event ends

WHERE: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, 1001 East 5th Street. Carpooling is encouraged to the event, as parking is limited in the area. Event parking can be found on 5th street, directly north of the fort, the Visitor Center parking lot located at 1501 East Evergreen Blvd, and available parking areas within the Reserve. Handicap parking is available just across the street from the fort and at Pearson Air Museum and will be signed as such.

WHEN: Campfires and Candlelight Tour will occur on September 18, 2010 from 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. The "Timeline of History" Camps and Pearson Air Museum open at 4:00 p.m. with the fort gates opening at 5:00 p.m.

COSTS: The normal fort and Pearson Air Museum entrance fees will not be charged for this and is free for everyone.

IMPORTANT: The fort hours of operation will be 4:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m. for the event on Saturday, September 18 and 11:00p.m.-5:00p.m. for clean up on Sunday, September 19. The Visitor Center will be open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on the day of the event and from 9:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Entrance to the event at both the fort and Pearson Air Museum are free.

Background: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, is at the heart of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve. The Vancouver National Historic Reserve brings together a national park, a premier archaeological site, the region's first military post, an international fur trade emporium, one of the oldest operating airfields, the first national historic site west of the Mississippi River, and a waterfront trail and environmental center on the banks of the Columbia River. The partners of the Reserve teach visitors about the fur trade, early military life, natural history, and pioneers in aviation, all within the context of Vancouver’s role in regional and national development. The Reserve's vast array of public programs -- including living history events, festivals, cultural demonstrations, exhibits, active archaeology, and other special activities -- create a dynamic, fun, and unique tourist destination for people of all ages.

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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Vancouver , WA 98661


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