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Traditional Holiday Celebration at Bent's Fort

Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site

National Park News

Make Reservations Now For Holiday Event at Bent’s Old Fort
Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site near La Junta, Colorado will host its Traditional Holiday Celebration on Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3. Living history volunteers from Colorado and surrounding states will again bring the fort to life with the sights, sounds, and smells of a working 19th Century trading post during the holiday season. Festivities will include candlelight tours, toy making, holiday festivities and children’s games. This year reservations are strongly advised for the evening candlelight tours. There will be 9 tours available both Friday and Saturday evenings. Tours will be limited to 25 people. Walk in guests will only be accommodated as space allows. To make reservations for the candlelight tours, phone (719) 383-5026.
“We’ve already received very strong interest in our evening candlelight tours,” according to Superintendent Cindy Ott-Jones, “already 6 of our 9 tours on Saturday night are full to capacity. I suggest folks interested in these tours call the park for reservations as soon as possible. The tours, as well as the daytime activities on Saturday, offer a wonderful opportunity for visitors to see the fort come to life.”
The 2005 celebration begins on Friday, December 2 at 6:15 p.m. with the guided candlelight tours of the fort. Living history interpreters will guide groups through various rooms where people of the era will be preparing to celebrate the holidays. After the tours, everyone is invited to stay for caroling and authentic treats from the 1800s. The fort will close at 9:30 p.m.
Festivities on Saturday will begin at 9:30 a.m. and run until 4:00 p.m. Scheduled activities include toy making, children’s games in the plaza, frontier medicine, trading scenes, storytelling, and other living history activities. For a break from the fort, visitors may visit nearby Indian and trapper camps. Events will culminate with a piñata break and a Yule log hunt. The park will close to the public at 4:00 p.m. and then reopen for another night of candlelight tours and holiday treats beginning at 6:15 p.m.
A living history fee is charged for the candlelight tours or to attend the daytime Holiday Celebration. The cost is $3.00 for visitors 13 and older and $2.00 for ages 6 to 12. Visitors are asked to park at the main parking lot and pay their fee at the bookstore. The bookstore will be open during the event, including before the candlelight tours, for holiday shopping. Visitors are asked to dress warmly and bring a flashlight for the evening programs. Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site is located on Colorado Highway 194, 8 miles east of La Junta or 15 miles west of Las Animas. For more information on the Holiday Celebration, including a schedule of event activities, visit the park’s website at and click on “Special Events” or call the park at (719) 383-5010.


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