On Saturdays, December 3 & 10, Old Fort Niagara will offer guests a unique historical experience in a setting untouched by consumerism but enhanced by natural elements, like evergreen boughs and pinecones and accented with ribbons and handmade ornaments, courtesy of the Youngstown Garden Club. Candles and lanterns will illuminate outdoor walkways and the rooms of the 1726 French Castle, the oldest building on the Great Lakes.
Unique to this event are the "feu de Joie" (firing of joy) musket and cannon firings, which recreate an 18th century military ceremony usually employed to celebrate a great victory at 7:30 and 8:30 each night. In addition, visitors will meet historical characters - soldiers, traders, skilled artisans and camp followers - and take part in hands-on activities like writing with a quill pen, playing an 18th century game and making rag dolls.
The festive atmosphere will include music of fifes and drums and popular historical songs. Cooks will prepare and discuss traditional holiday fare, while period characters entertain visitors with tales of winter in the 18th century. A Recollect priest will recite the Christmas story in Latin in the Fort's chapel while fur traders and French soldiers downstairs pass the winter evening in more boisterous pursuits.
Homemade soup, hot cocoa and cookies will be for sale onsite at the Trading Post. The Fort's Museum Shop will also be open offering a wide variety of books, apparel, historic reproductions and other unique gifts. The shop is also open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and admission is $10.00 per person. This is a fund raiser to benefit the Fort's educational programming. Visitors are encouraged to dress for the weather, wear walking footwear and bring a flashlight