On Saturday, May 18, from 11 am to 5 pm, Fort Nisqually Living History Museum will have a birthday celebration for Queen Victoria. This event will be for all ages, as there will be hands-on activities for kids, for example, 19th century games. There will also be re-enactors that will be adept at answering questions of both children and adults.
Chris Erlich, Event Coordinator, explained, “People can come anytime during the event for an hour or two, or they can stay all day. Activities occur throughout the day, though certain activities happen will only once during the day. We’ve celebrated Queen Victoria’s Birthday at the fort for more than 20 years, plus the historic celebrations!”
Chris discussed details of the celebration, “The day will begin with the raising of the flag and singing “God Save the Queen.” The Olympia-based musical group, Les Gens des Chutes, (phonetically: lay zhan day shoot) will provide music with a French-Canadian flavor at several times during the day. They will also teach visitors how to do a group dance from old Quebec – La Bastringue. The music reflects the heritage of many of the original laborers at Fort Nisqually.
“For the first time we will have a ‘Nineteenth Century Artisan and Garden Market’, featuring traditional crafts for sale- e.g. metalwork, needlework, baskets, wool, woodwork -by Puget Sound area artists, as well as plants from the Fort Nisqually garden for sale. WSU Master Gardeners will be at the fort’s garden, answering visitor’s gardening questions.
“Throughout the day, several dozen re-enactors will be firing canon and musket salutes, playing croquet with visitors, and helping children learn 19th century games. They will be cooking in the kitchen, tending the garden, working in the blacksmith’s shop, and engaging in other daily activities of life in the 1850s. They are eager to answer visitor’s questions and share what they know.”
Chris commented on the event, “This is a great chance to engage in an authentic 19th century celebration, in a setting that is unique in Puget Sound.”Chris discussed the best thing about the celebration, “There is something for everyone – hands-on activities, games, and canon fire for the kids, music and dance for the family, and in-depth conversations with re-enactors for curious adults.”
Chris shared with us some information about the museum, “At Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, visitors travel back in time and experience life in Washington Territory during the Fur Trade era. The fort is a restoration of the Hudson’s Bay Company outpost on Puget Sound, and includes some of the oldest surviving wooden buildings in Washington.”
For more information about this event, please contact Chris Erlich at 253-759-6184.
By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com