Bent’s Fort Celebrates Holidays, 1840s-Style

wagon-rides-WEBBent’s Old Fort National Historic Site will celebrate the holidays in 1840s fashion beginning on Friday evening, December 4 and continuing all through the day on Saturday, December 5.

Events begin with guided candlelight tours through the fort starting at 6:30 pm on Friday, December 4.  Groups depart at 15 minute intervals and are led through the rooms of the fort interacting with fort inhabitants preparing for or celebrating the holidays as they might have in 1846.  Reservations are needed for these tours.  As of November 24, a total of about 40 slots remain open for the Saturday night tours;Friday night’s tours are full.

On Saturday, December 5, festivities will continue all day.  The fort will open at 9 am with the first event being toy-making in the carpenter’s shop beginning at 9:30.  Wagon rides down to the river and through the woods will begin at 11 am.  Afternoon activities will include a taffy pull, more toy-making, a piñata break (2 pm), and a Yule log hunt (2:15 pm).  The fort will close at 4 pm and then reopen for candlelight tours at 5 pm.

Even at an outpost far from home for many, the holidays were a memorable time for the men and women of the fort.  A large contingent of living history volunteers will bring those times to life during this event and offer a glimpse into the meaning of the season for the fort’s diverse occupants.

Regular fees will apply during this event of $3 for those 13 and older, $2 for children ages 6 to 12, free for kids 5 and under.  National park passes are also accepted.  Reservations are required for the candlelight tours.  To reserve space for the Saturday night tours (Friday night is already full), call (719) 383-5026.

Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site is located on Colorado Highway 194, 6 miles east of La Junta or 13 miles west of Las Animas.  For more information, visit the park’s website at or call the park at (719) 383-5010.

Come enjoy 19th century holiday traditions with the people of Bent’s Fort during this fun and interactive special event.



Courtsey Photos:  Wagon rides and a pinata break are just two of the activities at the upcoming Traditional Holiday Celebration at Bent’s Old Fort.

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