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Contact: Cassandra Anderson, 360-816-6230
Contact: Kimm Fox-Middleton, 360-816-6243
Contact: Greg Shine, 360-816-6231
FIVE FANTASTIC FREE FAMILY ACTIVITIES FEATURED AT FORT VANCOUVER THIS WEEKEND
VANCOUVER, WA - Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, the only unit of the national park system in the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area, is FEATURING FIVE FANTASTIC FREE FAMILY ACTIVITIES the weekend of August 14-16, 2009.
1. DANCE A WALTZ ON HISTORIC OFFICERS ROW
WHAT: "Evenings on the Row: Waltzing Through Time" interactive dance & living history program
WHEN: Friday, August 14, 2009, 6:30-7:30 pm
WHERE: Front porch of the O.O. Howard House (750 Anderson St., Vancouver, WA 98661)
DETAILS: In this interactive program, three couples--outfitted in costumes ranging from the mid to late nineteenth century—will dance to historic waltzes also ranging from the 1850s to 1890s. Visitors are welcome to join in, and short waltzing lessons will be provided. The waltzes will be played by costumed musicians on the porch of the General O.O. Howard House. This program is not only an opportunity to learn about the history of waltzing and the recreational and musical pastimes at Vancouver Barracks, but it’s also a chance to discuss changing fashions of the era. Enjoy the couples as they elegantly spin through decades at the Barracks, or learn from the waltzing instruction provided and give it a try yourself! Visitors are encouraged to bring their own picnic dinners. "This free program is an opportunity for us to bring Vancouver Barracks to life," explained park guide Cassie Anderson, one of the program's presenters. "Few people realize that families lived at the post from its establishment in 1849—these series strive to illuminate the lives of those people in Vancouver’s early history." This program is part of a free, weekly program series Evenings on the Row. For more information, please visit www.nps.gov/fova/parknews/free-programs-on-officers-row-continue.htm.
2. TOUR FORT VANCOUVER STOCKADE AND ENJOY FREE AUDIO TOURS
WHAT: Free access to the reconstructed stockade at Fort Vancouver NHS, and free audio tours
WHEN: Saturday, August 15 & Sunday, August 16, 2009, 9:00am to 5:00 pm
WHERE: Reconstructed stockade, Fort Vancouver NHS, 1001 E. Fifth St., Vancouver, WA 98661
DETAILS: As part of the National Park Service's servicewide Fee-Free Weekend program, entrance fees to the reconstructed stockade at Fort Vancouver will be waived this weekend (Saturday, August 15 & Sunday, August 16) and visitors will be able to access it free of charge. Also, audio tours of the fort will be provided free of charge as available. In addition to the regularly operating Blacksmith Shop and other features inside the stockade walls, visitors on Sunday can also watch a flintlock musket firing talk and demonstration at 1:30 pm. For more information, contact the park's Visitor Center at 360-816-6230.
3. BRING A PICNIC & WATCH AN 1860's VINTAGE BASE BALL GAME
WHAT: 1860's Vintage Base Ball Game
WHEN: 6:00pm, Saturday, August 15, 2009
WHERE: Parade Ground, Fort Vancouver NHS, 1501 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver, WA 98661
DETAILS: At 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 15, 2009, the park will be hosting the popular 1860s Vintage Base Ball Match Game on the Parade Ground of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. The game will be played by the rules of the 1860s, with wooden bats and without gloves. Prior to the game and between innings, the Whiskey Flats Band play will entertain the crowd with nineteenth century period music. Hot dogs and other refreshments will be available for sale at the base ball match game, provided by the Restaurant at the Historic Reserve. The Fort Vancouver National Historic Reserve Trust will have souvenirs available, including books, base balls, team shirts, and more.For more information, contact the park's Visitor Center at 360-816-6230.
4. WATCH A CANNON FIRING
WHAT: Mountain howitzer talk and firing demonstration
WHEN: 1:30 pm, Saturday, August 15, 2009
WHERE: East end of the Parade Ground, Fort Vancouver NHS, 1501 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver, WA 98661
DETAILS: Join the park's employees and volunteers for an interpretive talk and firing demonstration featuring the park's reproduction mountain howitzer. Learn about the role of weaponry at the post and see uniformed reenactors follow precise nineteenth century drills to load and fire the howitzer. For more information, contact the park's Visitor Center at 360-816-6230.
5. WATCH A FIVE MINUTE SNEAK PEEK OF KEN BURNS' NEW PBS SERIES "THE NATIONAL PARKS" AMERICA'S BEST IDEA"
WHAT: Five minute video introduction to Ken Burns' new PBS Series "The National Parks: America's Best Idea"
WHEN: Saturday, August 15 & Sunday, August 16, 2009, 9:00am to 5:00 pm (as available)
WHERE: Visitor Center, Fort Vancouver NHS, 1501 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver, WA 98661
DETAILS: This weekend, the Visitor Center will be showing on a rolling basis a five minute sneak peek of the six-episode, twelve-hour series THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA, directed by Burns and produced with his long-time colleague, Dayton Duncan, who also wrote the screenplay. It is scheduled to air this fall. At its heart, the film is the story of an idea, as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical – that the most special places in the nation should be preserved, not for royalty or the rich, but for everyone. As such, it follows in the tradition of Burns' exploration of other American inventions, such as baseball and jazz. Filmed over the course of more than six years at some of nature's most spectacular locales – from Acadia to Yosemite, Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, the Everglades of Florida to the Gates of the Arctic in Alaska – the documentary is nonetheless a story of people: people from every conceivable background – rich and poor; famous and unknown; soldiers and scientists; natives and newcomers; idealists, artists and entrepreneurs; people who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved, and in doing so reminded their fellow citizens of the full meaning of democracy. It is a story full of struggle and conflict, high ideals and crass opportunism, stirring adventure and enduring inspiration – set against the most breathtaking backdrops imaginable.
BACKGROUND: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, is 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.