Summer's End Promenade at Fort Vancouver NHS Highlights History through Costume

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Date: September 18, 2015
Contact: Eileen Trestain, Volunteer-in-Parks & Costume and Textile Department, 360-816-6259
Contact: Bobby Gutierrez, Park Ranger, 360-816-6247
Contact: Greg Shine, Chief Ranger & Historian, 360-816-6231

The National Park Service at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site will be presenting the annual Summer's End Promenade on Saturday, September 26, 2015 between 1 pm and 3 pm, as part of the national park's celebration of National Public Lands Day.

National Park Service Volunteers-in-Parks (VIPs) of all ages will be attired in a range of period clothing illustrating 110 years of history represented at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and the Vancouver National Historic Reserve. They will stroll down Officers Row and along the national park's historic Parade Ground, stopping at the Grant House and its veranda. 

In addition to helping connect visitors to the site's history, the costumed volunteers will help celebrate National Public Lands Day, the largest volunteer day for public lands in our country.

Visitors are invited to stop and have one-on-one conversations with participants about what was taking place onsite and in the Pacific Northwest during the era each costume represents. Volunteers from the park's Costume and Textile Department will also be on hand to answer questions about clothing construction and style. Photography is welcome.

In case of inclement weather, the Promenade will visit the Grant House and relocate to the Pearson Air Museum at 1115 E. Fifth St.

This event mimics the days past, when an afternoon stroll in pleasant weather was taken for good health, to enjoy the company of friends, and to show off one's clothing finery in a relaxed atmosphere. It is also an opportunity for the public to see reproduction clothing used across all park programs and events, with an emphasis on those items which may be displayed less frequently.

The public is encouraged to enjoy the grounds of the national park and see the results of the national park's Costume and Textile Department's dedicated volunteers, who work behind the scenes to help park programs come alive.

"It is highly rewarding to work with so many exceptionally talented volunteers. And, the public really cares about our efforts here at the park. We have received many generous donations—funds, time, talent, and items. It is so heartwarming when someone personally chooses to work with and support us," said Eileen Trestain, Coordinator of the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site's Costume and Textile Department.

"Tremendous work is put into reproduction costumes because frequently the public is up close, asking questions of our history interpreters. This event gives the many volunteers who participate in our living history programs an opportunity to bring over 100 years of history to life," said Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Superintendent Tracy Fortmann.

"The sewing skills of the nineteenth century are very different than those of the twenty-first, and most volunteers have to learn a whole new 'old' way of sewing," added Trestain. "The costume department includes individuals performing all types of work from knitters,crocheters, embroiderers and beadworkers to office personnel—a whole range of skills beyond basic sewing."

National Public Lands Day (NPLD) brings together volunteers from coast to coast to improve and restore the lands and facilities that Americans use for recreation, education, exercise and just plain enjoyment. Last year, more than 175,000 Americans participated at more than 2,100 sites in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

What: Summer's End Promenade, a celebration of National Public Lands Day.

When: Saturday, September 26, 2015, between 1 pm and 3 pm

Where: Officers Row & the Parade Ground of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Inclement weather locations are the Grant House and Pearson Air Museum.

Who: National Park Service Staff and Volunteers-in-Parks at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

Last updated: September 18, 2015

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