Old Fort Niagara will provide another year of living history to visitors from near and far and invites the public to save the dates for its special events and programs in 2018.
New for 2018 will be the "War of 1812 Grand Encampment," July 28-29, which will be the largest binational 1812 event of the year - and one of the largest re-enactment weekends at Old Fort Niagara.
The 2018 new daily summer program, "Flintlocks and Council Fires," will offer living-history demonstrations every day in the summer to educate visitors about Niagara's role in the development of early America. These complement popular annual events such as the "French and Indian War Encampment" and "Castle by Candlelight," along with numerous other small- to medium-sized re-enactments.
"It's nice to think about summer right now and plan for warmer days," Executive Director Robert Emerson said. "Winter, spring and fall are also great times to visit the fort. We will have our 'Winter Woods Battle' in February followed by 'Patriots Day' in April. We are open every day at 9 a.m. and aim to provide unique experiences in all seasons."
The schedule includes:
•Feb. 17: Winter Woods Battle - Learn about winter life in the 18th century and take part in a battle in the winter woods.
•April 21-22: Patriots Day - Commemorate the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775 with living history programs and a special salute to veterans.
•May 19-20: Civil War Artillery School - Civil War re-enactors practice their weaponry skills at the fort.
•May 26-27: "Soldiers through the Ages" - Meet soldiers from the 17th through 20th centuries in this "timeline" event. Special programs and displays interpret military life from early explorers through the Vietnam War.
Civil War garrison
•June 9-10: Civil War Garrison - Travel back to the 1860s when the Union feared British intervention on the side of the Confederacy.
•June 29-July 1: French and Indian War Encampment - Relive the Siege of 1759 when British and New York soldiers besieged French-held Fort Niagara. Battle re-enactments, large living history camps. The site's largest event of the year.
•July 28-29: War of 1812 Grand Encampment - This event commemorates the fort's role in the War of 1812. Large-scale battle re-enactments and living history programs will make this the largest binational War of 1812 re-enactment of the year.
•Aug. 18-19: Soldiers of the Revolution - This living history event recreates the War for Independence on the New York frontier. Battle re-enactments, hands-on activities for families, plus music and games.
•In October: Frontier Days - An interactive program for fourth- and seventh-graders is also open to the public. Students learn about the American Revolution in New York. Sponsored by the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area and New York State's Connect Kids program.
•Nov. 2-3: French Heritage Days - Explore the early French heritage of the Niagara Region, when France was a dominant power on the Great Lakes.
Dec. 8 and 15: "The Castle by Candlelight" - Tour Old Fort Niagara's 1726 French Castle decorated for the season by the Youngstown Garden Club. During the fundraising event, the building will be lit entirely by candles. Meet historical characters and witness the firing of the grand feu de joie.
More information about these events and programs, plus others that develop throughout the year, is available at www.oldfortniagara.org
or by calling 716-745-7611.
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.