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Contact: Bobby Gutierrez, Park Ranger, 360-816-6247
Contact: Mike Twist, Park Ranger, 360-816-6246
Experience the sights and sounds of the 1840s Victorian-era winter holiday season at the annual "Christmas at Fort Vancouver" special event on Saturday, December 12, 2015, from 10 am to 3 pm, at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.
Admission to the event at the reconstructed fort site is $5 per adult. Individuals aged 15 years and younger are free, and visitors can take home the wreath, top, and crafts made on-site. American the Beautiful Interagency Passes are accepted. At the reconstructed fort, located at 1001 East Fifth Street in Vancouver, WA, visitors will experience caroling by the Madrigal Singers and enjoy warm holiday wassail, games, music, and historical dancing.
The park will provide materials needed for attendees to make wooden toy tops, wreaths, and potpourri ornaments. Popular blacksmithing and black powder demonstrations will also be held throughout the holiday event. "There will be several ongoing handcraft activities so families can make their own Victorian-era holiday treasures to decorate their homes or to give as gifts," said park Superintendent Tracy Fortmann.
Visitors with cameras can capture photos of friends and family in a historic Hudson's Bay Company holiday scene. Visitors are welcome to take photos of the decorated fort and with costumed re-enactors. The historical ambience at Christmas at Fort Vancouver will provide a memorable old-fashioned holiday scene, complete with volunteers and staff in 1840s fashions.
"Christmas at Fort Vancouver gives visitors an opportunity to see how the employees of the Hudson's Bay Company celebrated the festive time around Christmas and New Year's Day. After months of hard work, it was one of the few times a year when all the employees of the Hudson's Bay Company could enjoy a respite from work and celebrate together," said Chief Ranger and Historian Greg Shine.
At nearby Pearson Air Museum, where there is no entrance charge, from 11 am to 2 pm visitors can enjoy ginger snaps and hot cider while listening to a concert of holiday music, courtesy of the Vancouver Community Concert Band, under the direction of Dr. Jim Rourk.
Visitors are also encouraged to visit the newly-remodeled Visitor Center & Bookstore (at 1501 East Evergreen Boulevard) and enjoy the new hands-on exhibits and the holiday offerings in the Bookstore that help connect to the people, places, traditions, and stories associated with the site.
Schedule of Events at the Reconstructed Fort
10 am: Blast of Black Powder! Historic Weapons Demonstration
10 am - 12 pm: Christmas caroling by the Madrigal Singers
10 am - 3 pm: Ongoing hands-on activities:
- Build your own toy top
- Taste apple wassail
- Craft your own miniature wreath
- Gather 'round for a winter story
- Play games of the 1840s
- Make your own Victorian handcraft
- Pose for a holiday photo with costumed reenactors
- Visit the Kitchen and watch a cooking demonstration
- Visit the Blacksmith Shop and talk with smiths demonstrating the lost art of blacksmithing