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A French-Canadian militiaman pulls his supplies on a toboggan, known as a traine. `Winter Warriors` will demonstrate how soldiers carried supplies through the winter woods during the 17th and 18th centuries.
A French-Canadian militiaman pulls his supplies on a toboggan, known as a traine. "Winter Warriors" will demonstrate how soldiers carried supplies through the winter woods during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Old Fort Niagara: 'Winter Warriors' event highlights winter survival skills

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Tue, Jan 5th 2021 01:25 pm

On Saturday, Jan. 16, Old Fort Niagara presents “Winter Warriors,” a day of family-oriented programming focusing on how people survived on the 18th century frontier during the winter months. From 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., visitors can learn how soldiers and Native Americans traveled hundreds of miles through sub-zero temperatures to conduct raids on enemy settlements.

Living history demonstrations will include snowshoeing (weather permitting), fire starting, food preservation and preparation, fur trading and shelter building. Programs will also illustrate what clothing and gear would be needed to survive in the woods for weeks at a time.

Educators from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will present the history of the snowshoe and describe how different types of snowshoe were used for a variety of terrain.

The program also explores how soldiers and civilians stationed at a frontier fort would pass the long winter months and how Native Americans in nearby villages coped with winter and fed their families.

Visitors are invited to spend the day outdoors in a safe, well-ventilated environment and learn about how people coped with winter during the colonial era. All activities will be inside the walls of Old Fort Niagara. Masks are required and visitors are asked to practice social distancing and dress for the weather. Complimentary hot chocolate will be available at the Visitor Center.

Tickets to the event are available at the door and are included in the fort’s regular admission of $15 for adults and $10 for children 6-12.

For more information, visit the fort’s website at www.oldfortniagara.org.

Old Fort Niagara, currently open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 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.

A New York Provincial Ranger checks his flintlock rifle prior to going into battle.

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