Old-Fashioned July Fourth Celebration Planned at Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site

The Fourth of July Parade at Bent's Old Fort is open to all-comers, as this photo from past Fourth celebrations shows. NPS photo.

A truly old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration is planned at Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, where they'll turn back the calendar to the 1840s.

The afternoon celebration will feature cannon blasts, a parade that all visitors can join in on, games, speeches, a piñata break and a flag give-away.

Here is a rundown of the afternoon’s schedule:

1:30 pm Parade from the visitor parking lot to the fort
1:45 Reading of the Declaration of Independence and roll call
of the States
2:00 Cannon Firing
3:00 Amazing (and sometimes deadly) Ways to Celebrate the 4th
4:00 Cannon Firing
4:15 Pinata Break
4:30 1846 Flag Give-away (drawing for a flag that has flown
over the fort)
4:45 Cannon Firing

From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. there will be ongoing programs and demonstrations including cooking , blacksmithing, children’s games, billiards, trapping and trading.

Regular fort fees of $3 for adults (13 and older), $2 for children (ages 6 to 12) will be charged for this event, but there are no additional charges for any of the special activities. National Park passholders and those 5 and under are admitted free.

Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site is located 8 miles east of La Junta, Colorado, or 13 miles west of Las Animas on Colorado Highway 194. The site is open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily through the summer.