Celebrate July 4th “1840s-Style” at Bent’s Fort

Bent's Fort cannon firing

Cannon firings will be featured during the Independence Day Celebration at Bent’s Old Fort on Friday, July 4

Cannon firings, games, speeches and a parade headline the festivities at Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site on Friday, July 4 as the park celebrates the great American holiday in 1840s fashion. Two flags that have flown over the fort will be given away and a piñata break will send kids scurrying for candy in the fort plaza.

Activities get underway starting at 1:30 pm on Friday afternoon with a parade from the visitor parking lot to the fort. Three firings of the cannon will take place through the afternoon spaced around a reading of the Declaration of Independence, the great Benton-Webster debate and a Temperance speech in the billiard room.

Kids’ games, billiards and card games will be ongoing as fort inhabitants celebrate what was, at that time, the biggest holiday of the year, while in the kitchen the cooks will be making apple pie.

A piñata break at 3:30, followed by a flag giveaway at 3:45, and a final cannon firing at 4:00 will wrap up the day’s activities. For a full schedule of events, call the park at (719) 383-5010 or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/beol and click on “Special Events.”

The park’s normal living history fee applies to the fort events on Friday, July 4. The cost is $3.00 for visitors 13 and older and $2.00 for ages 6 to 12. Kids 5 and under are free. National Park Passes are honored for this fee. Fees will be collected at the fort entrance. Visitors are advised to be mindful of the heat this time of year and bring sun protection and water.

Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site is located 8 miles east of La Junta 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.


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