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Old Fort Niagara's 'Castle by Candlelight' tours offer 18th century merriment

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Mon, Nov 27th 2017 01:05 pm
At Old Fort Niagara's `Castle by Candlelight` tours (Dec. 9 and 16), the walkways and French Castle are illuminated by lanterns. (Photos by Wayne Peters)
At Old Fort Niagara's "Castle by Candlelight" tours (Dec. 9 and 16), the walkways and French Castle are illuminated by lanterns. (Photos by Wayne Peters)
Event is Dec. 9 & 16
Old Fort Niagara invites the public to experience the holiday spirit in the company of 18th century-style merrymakers at this season's "Castle by Candlelight" tours on Dec. 9 and 16. Music, crafts, demonstrations and more will make the French Castle, decorated by the Youngstown Garden Club, brim with festivities. The event will also include the feu de joie celebratory cannon and musket firings.
" 'Castle by Candlelight' is a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit with the help of living history," said Robert Emerson, executive director of the Old Fort Niagara Association. "We have been doing this event for 16 years and it continues to be a favorite by visitors, staff and volunteers. We look forward to welcoming our guests!"
This seasonal fundraiser offers hands-on activities and interactive history demonstrations, including exhibits of fur trading, woodworking and silver trading, preparing an 18th century meal, soldiers' activities, playing games, writing with quill pens, and making crafts. Music will be provided by the fort's field musicians and local musicians who play period tunes. Historical characters will be everywhere to share history and welcome guests.
Unique to this event are the "feu de joie" (firing of joy) musket and cannon firings, which recreate an 18th century military ceremony that celebrated great victory. As in years past, the fort and its pathways will be illuminated by candlelight, and the French Castle will be festively decorated for the holidays by the Youngstown Garden Club using natural evergreen boughs, ribbons, flowers and ornaments.
Tickets will be available only at the door for $10 per person from 6:30-8 p.m. each night. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free. Visitors are encouraged to dress for the weather, wear walking footwear and bring a flashlight.
The event is a fundraiser for the fort's educational programing.
Homemade soup, hot cocoa and cookies will be for sale onsite (while supplies last) at the Trading Post, while musicians provide live holiday music for customers.
The fort's Museum Shop will also be open, offering a variety of books, apparel, historic reproductions and other unique gift items. The shop is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The fort's next event will be the "Twelfth Night Ball," on Jan. 6, 2018. Tickets for this 18th century English country dance will go on sale Dec. 4.
Old Fort Niagara (www.oldfortniagara.org) is a Registered National Historic Landmark and New York State Historic Site operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association, a not-for-profit organization, in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The site is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gates close 30 minutes after the last ticket sale.
Old Fort Niagara's "Castle by Candlelight" tours include "feu de joie" cannon and musket firings, which recreate an 18th century military ceremony that celebrated great victory. The local Niagara Artillery re-enactment unit fires the cannons.
Old Fort Niagara's "Castle by Candlelight" event offers many living history demonstrations, including preparing an 18th century meal, writing with quill pens and making crafts, like cornhusk dolls.

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