Area residents flock to annual ‘Christmas at Fort Vancouver’ event

VANCOUVER — Clark County residents had the opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of the 1840s Victorian-era winter holiday season at the annual “Christmas at Fort Vancouver” special event Saturday at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

Blacksmith Wade Seiders demonstrates at the annual ‘Christmas at Fort Vancouver’ event Saturday at the Fort Vancouver National Historic site. Photo by Mike Schultz
Blacksmith Wade Seiders demonstrates at the annual ‘Christmas at Fort Vancouver’ event Saturday at the Fort Vancouver National Historic site. Photo by Mike Schultz

At the fort, visitors heard caroling by the Madrigal Singers as they enjoyed warm holiday wassail, games, craft making and music with historical dancing. In addition, the festive ambiance at “Christmas at Fort Vancouver” was designed to provide a memorable historic holiday scene where visitors with cameras captured photos of friends and family with costumed reenactors.

Ron Cronin educates some young visitors in the fur trade shop at the annual ‘Christmas at Fort Vancouver’ event Saturday at the Fort Vancouver National Historic site. Photo by Mike Schultz
Ron Cronin educates some young visitors in the fur trade shop at the annual ‘Christmas at Fort Vancouver’ event Saturday at the Fort Vancouver National Historic site. Photo by Mike Schultz

Popular blacksmithing and black powder demonstrations were also held throughout the holiday event. The park provided craft materials needed for attendees to make wooden toy tops, wreaths, tassels and potpourri ornaments, which families used to make their own Victorian-era holiday treasures to decorate their homes or to give as gifts.

Sydney Jenkins and Sally Rothnacker-Peyton are shown here preparing food in the kitchen Saturday at the annual ‘Christmas at Fort Vancouver’ event at the Fort Vancouver National Historic site. Photo by Mike Schultz
Sydney Jenkins and Sally Rothnacker-Peyton are shown here preparing food in the kitchen Saturday at the annual ‘Christmas at Fort Vancouver’ event at the Fort Vancouver National Historic site. Photo by Mike Schultz

In conjunction with holiday activities at the reconstructed fort, visitors were invited to join in “A Celebration of Birds,” hosted by the Friends of Fort Vancouver at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center. Current featured artist Joy Pomaika’i Hou’oli O’Hearn, demonstrated the traditions and techniques of Hawaiian feather art for the public.
Free children’s activities were also available. Through a generous donation from Home Depot, children were able to build and take home birdhouses and volunteers helped children make pine cone bird feeders. The Friends of Fort Vancouver Bookstore at the Visitor Center was also open to help those in attendance find a unique gift.

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About The Author

Ken Vance got his start in the newspaper industry in 1987 as a reporter at The Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Vance graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, WA, and attended Clark College in Vancouver. He worked for The Columbian from 1987-2001. He was most recently a staff member of The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground, where he served as editor since 2010 and reporter since 2007. Vance’s work in the newspaper industry has won him multiple awards, including a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.

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