Old Fort Niagara's timeline spans more than four centuries of history, from the earliest relationships with the Native Americans through the Cold War.
On the weekend of May 23 and 24, the fort's staff of educators, volunteers and re-enactors will bring this history to life during the annual "Soldiers Through the Ages" event. The public is invited to learn about the evolution of weaponry, tactics, vehicles and historic clothing.
Events for Saturday and Sunday include:
•10 a.m., Military Parade and Colors Ceremony - Watch re-enactors assemble and parade across the fort's lawn and present their colors (flags).
•10:30 a.m., Musket Demonstration - Fort staff will educate visitors about the musket, including how it is loaded and fired.
•11:30 a.m., Weapons and Tactics of 1645 to 1945 - See how weapons and tactics changed during the fort's history, including Native American weaponry, and the 17th century matchlock through the infantry weapons of World War II.
•Noon, Artillery Demonstration - Fort staff will fire an 18th century cannon.
•1 p.m., Uniform Program - Wool, leather and cotton have war experiences to share, too. Visitors will learn about military fashion.
•1:30 p.m., Musket Demonstration
•2 p.m., Military Music - Listen to the melodic and structured music of the fifes and drums.
•3 p.m., Weapons and Tactics of 1645 to 1945
•4 p.m., Military Music.
Ongoing both days will be living history camps, trades demonstrations, rations through time, military vehicles and a command post at the 1762 Provisions Storehouse.
The cost to attend is regular admission to the fort ($12/adult, $8/children ages 6-12, free/children ages 5 and under). The event is free for Old Fort Niagara members.
On Memorial Day, at 11 a.m., Lake Ontario Post 313 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars will hold a special service at the historic Fort Niagara Cemetery. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.
Re-enactments at Old Fort Niagara will continue to be a summer highlight. Upcoming events include:
•June 6-7, "Rebels and Redcoats."
•July 3-5, French and Indian War Encampment.
•Aug. 1-2, "Soldiers of the Revolution."
•Sept. 5-6, War of 1812 Encampment.
Old Fort Niagara is located in Fort Niagara State Park in Youngstown. For more information, visit www.oldfortniagara.org.