- Date & Time
- 07/04/2016 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM
- Fee Information
Celebrating 100 Years - Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, is the theme of this year's Fourth of July celebration. Our national parks, often called "America's best idea," will be commemorated at this year's event to honor the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. "Yours, Mine, and Ours" - national parks reveal a comprehensive national identity that will be experienced in full during this unique special event.
Old fashioned games, a 100-gun salute, an equestrian drill team, Living History demonstrations, and special programs on the history of Fort Laramie's entrance into the National Park System, Junior Soldiers Drill, and flag retreat ceremony will make Fort Laramie the place to be on Independence Day. The fort invites the public to bring their friends and families, and plan to have a fun-filled day. Admission to the park on the Fourth of July - and every day - is free.
For many years, Fort Laramie NHS has been a traditional part of Independence Day activities in southeast Wyoming. As in years past, the day will be packed with events and offer something for everyone. The observance this year begins on July 4, at 9:30 AM with a military flag-raising ceremony and cannon-firing.
The popular Old-Time Children's Games will begin on the parade ground in front of "Old Bedlam" at 10:00 AM. Sack races, pole climbing, egg tossing, foot races, and more will challenge youngsters of all ages. All participants will receive a ribbon and first, second, and third place prizes will be awarded for each event and age group.
At noon, a 100-gun salute will be presented at the flagpole, including the firing of the park's 12-pound Mountain Howitzer, to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service.
The Trotters equestrian drill team will perform at 1:30 PM. Once again, the sights and sounds of 19th century horse-mounted drill will be seen and heard on the historic parade ground.
At 2:00 PM, several special presentation will be given related to Fort Laramie's "homestead" period and the push by local residents to have the "Old Fort" preserved by including it in the National Park System. Well- known author, Doug McChristian will headline this portion of the program, along with former Eastern Wyoming College history professor, Don Hodgson, and local historian, Robert Melonuk. Early residents of the area and those with family ties to the Fort are encouraged to attend and share their memories of this period of the park's history.
Kids ages 7-12 are invited to gather on the parade ground at 4:30 PM for "Junior Soldier Drill," where they will be schooled in marching and drill just as the soldiers of Fort Laramie were 150 years ago.
The day will end with a "final bang" as park staff recreates an 1876 period retreat parade and cannon firing for the lowering of our national colors at 5:15 PM.
Throughout the day, park visitors can visit a variety of living history stations, including the Post Trader's Store, laundress area, and 1876 bakery. Free samples of army bread will be given out in the bakery.
Food service, provided by the Fort Laramie Historical Association will be available during the event. The 1883 Soldiers Bar will also be open selling root beer, sarsaparilla, crème soda, and birch beer.Join us for an old-fashioned, event-filled day of family fun and activities! For the latest information about Fort Laramie National Historic Site's programs and events call (307) 837-2221.