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Fort Niagara: Living history, night battle, bagpipes and more at War of 1812 Encampment

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Thu, Aug 18th 2016 05:45 pm
Photo by Wayne Peters
Photo by Wayne Peters

Old Fort Niagara will present its final re-enactment of the season, War of 1812 Encampment, on Sept. 3-4, when the fort's staff, volunteers and 150 regional re-enactors will stage history demonstrations from the War of 1812 for visitors to the National Historic Landmark. Living history activities will begin at 9 a.m. daily. Saturday evening's special programming will include a battle demonstration, history tour and bagpipe concert.

Everything is included with regular admission to the fort.

"Our 2016 re-enactment season wraps up with an exciting array of living history demonstrations from the War of 1812," Executive Director Robert Emerson said. "We're talking about that period in history when the United States of America was very young and lost its hold, though temporary, on the Niagara Frontier to the British.

"During the War of 1812 Encampment, visitors will learn about events that happened at Fort Niagara, watch an intense battle with the British, and leave with a better understanding of the historical importance of our region."

Fort Niagara was occupied by the U.S. from 1796 through the morning of Dec. 19, 1813, when British forces captured the fort in an unexpected pre-dawn attack. The fort's surrender opened the door for the British devastation of the eastern shore of the Niagara River from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie.

The War of 1812 Encampment features daily battle re-enactments at 2 p.m.; kids' games and recruiting programs; a display of surgical instruments; military music; artillery firings; and soldier's life activities. Saturday evening's events will begin at 6 p.m. with a guided tour to provide historical context for the ensuing battle. Then, at 7:15 p.m., the MacKenzie Highlanders' Pipes and Drums will perform, immediately followed by the battle re-enactment inside the fort on its parade ground.

Admissions into the fort for this battle will end at 7 p.m., when the doors will be closed to incoming and outgoing visitors until about 9 p.m. to ensure visitor safety.

About 150 re-enactors from New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Ontario will participate to help recreate history for visitors.

Visiting historical fiction author, Eddie Price, will also be on site to sign and sell copies of his book, "Widder's Landing," throughout the weekend.

Admission to the fort is $12 per adult, $8 per child (ages 6-12) and free for children ages 5 and under. Members of Old Fort Niagara are admitted free. Group discounts are available.

For more information on this and other Old Fort Niagara events, visit www.oldfortniagara.org.

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