Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Schedules Holiday Celebration

An 1840s holiday celebration will be held December 8 at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Washington state.

At the park's annual Christmas at Fort Vancouver event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., you can mark the occasion much as the employees of the Hudson's Bay Company did in the 1840s. Enjoy caroling by the Madrigal Singers, toy top, wreath and handcraft making, nonalcoholic holiday beverages, holiday stories, holiday artifacts, children's games, holiday music and dancing, and blacksmithing and black powder demonstrations!

New this year is a completely unique holiday photo opportunity - pose in old-fashioned holiday scenes with costumed re-enactors for a photo that's truly one of a kind (please bring your own camera to capture your scene).

"At Christmas at Fort Vancouver last year, we realized the public had a lot of fun taking photos alongside our costumed re-enactors," says Ranger Cassie Anderson. "This year, we're giving you more of a chance to do just that! Bring your own camera and pose by costumed volunteers in the festive atmosphere of the fort. Whether you gift, frame, email, facebook, or instagram your photo, we hope it helps you remember a holiday celebration unlike any other in your national park."

Historic background and costumed re-enactors are provided (costumes are for re-enactors only; members of the public will be in their own modern clothes).

Christmas at Fort Vancouver expresses how the employees at Hudson's Bay Company celebrated the festive time around Christmas and New Year's Day. After months of hard work, it was one of the few times in the year when all the employees of the Hudson's Bay Company were off from work and able to celebrate together.

"Holidays and festivities are universal," says Ranger Anderson. "Connect to your friends and family while you connect to your national park by crafting fun, historic mementos - like wreaths and tops - to take home or give to others this holiday season."

Schedule of events at the reconstructed fort:

10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. - Christmas Caroling by the Madrigal Singers

10 a.m.-3 p.m. - Ongoing Hands-On Activities:

·Build your own toy top

·Taste apple wassail

·Craft your own miniature wreath

·Gather 'round for a winter story

·Play games of the 1840s

·Make your own Victorian handcraft

·Pose for a holiday photo

·Check out artifacts of a holiday feast

·Kitchen open for demonstration

·Blacksmith shop open for demonstration

11 a.m. - Blast of Black Powder! Historic Weapons Demonstration

1 p.m.-3 p.m. - Learn a holiday jig and sing along to carols! Participatory music and dancingin the Counting House

2 p.m. - Blast of Black Powder!Historic Weapons Demonstration

Admission is $3 per adult, individuals aged 15 years and younger are free, and you take home the wreath, top, and crafts you make on site. For more information, call the Fort Vancouver NHS Visitor Center at (360) 816-6230.

The reconstructed fort is located at 1001 E 5th St, Vancouver, WA 98661