Christmas at Fort Vancouver highlights the history of the holidays

This season’s Christmas at Fort Vancouver will take place on Sat., Dec. 14, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

ClarkCountyToday.com

VANCOUVER — The National Park Service recently announced two holiday-themed events for Sat., Dec. 14: the park’s annual Christmas at Fort Vancouver event and A Celebration of Birds.

This season’s Christmas at Fort Vancouver will take place on Sat., Dec. 14, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Within the reconstructed fort, volunteers will portray the sights and sounds of an 1840s fur trade Christmas. This holiday was one of the few times a year when the Hudson’s Bay Company granted leave to all employees. Many spent this respite outdoors hunting or fishing, and all would celebrate together by dining and dancing in the fort.

Visitors to the annual Christmas at Fort Vancouver will hear traditional caroling by the Madrigal Singers as they enjoy free holiday wassail, games, music, demonstrations, and dancing. Photo courtesy of National Park Service
Visitors to the annual Christmas at Fort Vancouver will hear traditional caroling by the Madrigal Singers as they enjoy free holiday wassail, games, music, demonstrations, and dancing. Photo courtesy of National Park Service

Visitors will hear traditional caroling by the Madrigal Singers as they enjoy free holiday wassail, games, music, demonstrations, and dancing. There will be several ongoing Victorian-era craft activities, with materials provided for visitors to make wooden toy tops, wreaths, and potpourri ornaments to take home.

The regular admission fee of $10 for adults (youth ages 15 and under are free) will apply for entry into the fort for the Christmas event. Skip the long ticket lines on the 14th by purchasing your entry ticket online at Your Pass Now. You can pay your fee on the website, and bring a pre-printed pass, or download a QR code to your smart phone, and be ushered into the event without having to pay by cash or wait for your credit card purchase to be approved!

“Christmas at Fort Vancouver is a fun and exciting event for the whole family,” said Chief of Interpretation Aaron Ochoa. “Experience and celebrate a traditional 1840s holiday without volunteers and park rangers.”

Also on Dec. 14, two events hosted by the Friends of Fort Vancouver will be held at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m, visitors can celebrate our feathered friends at A Celebration of Birds. This special, drop-in event will feature special activities for children, including building wooden bird feeders (while supplies last, provided by The Home Depot). Visitors can also create and design paper origami creatures in the Visitor Center lobby. At 1:30 p.m., photographer and birder Pamela Gunn will speak about birds at Fort Vancouver and throughout the region. Visitors may shop for unique holiday gifts at the Friends of Fort Vancouver bookstore as well. 

“We’re delighted to see so many families this time of year. Fort Vancouver and Vancouver Barracks have been home to family gatherings for several centuries.” remarked Mary Rose, executive director of the Friends of Fort Vancouver.

What: Christmas at Fort Vancouver and A Celebration of Birds

When: Sat., Dec. 14, 2019. Christmas at Fort Vancouver will take place 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A Celebration of Birds will take place 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Christmas at Fort Vancouver takes place at the reconstructed Fort Vancouver, located at 1001 East Fifth Street, Vancouver, WA.

A Celebration of Birds and talk with Pamela Gunn will take place at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center and Bookstore, located at 1501 East Evergreen Boulevard, Vancouver, WA.

Cost: Admission to Christmas at Fort Vancouver at the reconstructed fort site is $10 per adult. Individuals age 15 years and younger, visitors with an American the Beautiful Interagency Pass, and visitors with an Every Kid Outdoors pass, are free. Events at the Visitor Center are free. You are encouraged to pay the fee ahead of time by using the online service Your Pass Now.

Note: In observance of the holiday celebration, Pearson Air Museum will be closed on Dec. 14. The air museum will resume normal hours of operation the following Tue., Dec. 17.

Information courtesy of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

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