NPS Campfires and Candlelight Event to Feature Mix of Old and New Activities

Bakehouse at Campfires & Candlelight
Visitors learn how to make hardtack in the Fort Vancouver Bakehouse at Campfires & Candlelight


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News Release Date: September 8, 2014

Contact: Robert Gutierrez, Park Ranger, 360-816-6247

Contact: Aaron Ochoa, Park Ranger, 360-816-6233

Contact: Greg Shine, Chief Ranger & Historian, 360-816-6231

VANCOUVER, WA -- Visitors will find an exciting mix of familiar and new activities at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site’s annual Campfires and Candlelight living history event, scheduled for 4 to 10 pm this Saturday, September 13, 2014.

As in past years, activities will be divided between those inside the reconstructed fort and those in a Timeline of History outside the stockade walls.

Outside the reconstructed fort, numerous costumed participants in encampments will form a Timeline of History, walking visitors back in time from the World War II era to 1846. Participating groups this year have expanded to include the Historical Aviation Guild, 113th Cavalry Living History Group, 249th Artillery Group, and 8th Infantry Division Medical Aid Station representing the World War II era; the 7th Infantry Regiment portraying that unit at Vancouver Barracks during the 1930s; Buffalo Soldier living history groups from Seattle and Portland with park staff and volunteers portraying the Army of the Indian Wars era; the First Oregon Volunteer Infantry and First Oregon Volunteer Cavalry representing units onsite during the Civil War era; and park staff and volunteers interpreting Oregon Trail emigrants and employees and families of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Village at Fort Vancouver.

To complement the living history encampments in the Timeline of History, the park has added interactive elements for children, including potato sack races, a children’s 1930’s obstacle course, and children’s Kaiser Shipyard races using miniature floaty-boats. In addition,  The Vancouver Community Concert Band will perform music from the past, beginning at 5:45 pm.

Inside the reconstructed stockade there will be costumed staff and volunteers bringing to life a specific evening from the fort’s past -- September 13, 1846 -- when the employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Fort Vancouver learned about the wreck of the American schooner USS Shark at the mouth of the Columbia River and mobilized to provide them with aid and support.

Costumed reenactors will be working inside the reconstructed fort’s kitchen, blacksmith shop, carpenter shop, infirmary, bakehouse, Indian trade shop, fur store, chief factor’s house, and counting house and visitors can interact with them from 5 to 10 pm while they discuss, plan and prepare items to help the shipwrecked American sailors.

Schedule of Activities

4 pm

  • Timeline of History opens; visitors may visit encampments and interact with living history reenactors.

  • Inspection formations - 113th Cavalry Living History Group (Timeline of History).

  • Until darkness, ongoing activities in the Timeline of History include the 249th Artillery’s spud peel, potato sack races, and a children’s 1930s obstacle course

4:30 pm

  • First aid demonstration by 8th Infantry Division Medical Aid Station (Timeline of History).

5 pm

  • Reconstructed fort opens; visitors may visit buildings and interact with living history reenactors portraying September 13, 1846 (Reconstructed Fort).

  • 1st Oregon Volunteer Cavalry demonstration (Timeline of History, plowed field east of garden).

5:30 pm

  • Historic Weapons Demonstrations (Timeline of History)

5:45 pm

  • Vancouver Community Concert Band performs music from the past (Timeline of History).

6 pm

  • Inspection formations - 113th Cavalry Living History Group (Timeline of History).

6:30 pm

  • Historic Weapons Demonstrations (Timeline of History).

7:30 pm

  • Historic Weapons Demonstrations (Timeline of History).

10 pm

  • Program ends.

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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Mailing Address:

612 E Reserve St
Vancouver , WA 98661


(360) 816-6230

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