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Christmas at Fort Vancouver Holiday Celebration

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The National Park Service is planning two holiday-themed events for Saturday, December 14, 2019: 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 Saturday, December 14th from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. 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 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. You can 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 with our volunteers and park rangers.”

Also on December 14, two events hosted by the Friends of Fort Vancouver will be held at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center. From 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, 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 pm, 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. Admission to the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center is free.

“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.

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