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Traditional Holiday Celebration Coming To Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site


Year-end holidays, with a Western frontier flair, will be observed at Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site in Colorado on December 6-7.

This annual event will feature more than 60 living history volunteers interpreting the holiday season at the fort as it was done in 1846. Modern visitors will become part of the simple pleasures of the day alongside fort employees, traders and trappers.

Evening candlelight tours of the fort are the most popular part of the event. As visitors are guided from room to room, they encounter inhabitants celebrating or preparing to celebrate the holidays in 1840s fashion.

Tours will be offered both Friday, December 6, beginning at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, December 7, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Remaining space is very limited for these tours and reservations are required. Phone (719) 383-5026 to secure a spot before all the tours are full.

On Saturday, December 7, the fort will be full of activity all day. Here’s the schedule:

9:00 a.m. Fort Opens

9:30, 11:15 a.m., 1:00 p.m. Toy making – build an authentic toy with your kids – carpenter’s shop

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wagon rides – through the woods and to the river – front of fort

1 p.m. (approx.) Taffy pull – stick your fingers in and pull it out – plaza

2 p.m. Piñata break – authentic piñatas will be busted open by the kids – plaza

2:30 p.m. Yule Log hunt – search for the elusive Yule Log and ride it “home”

3 p.m. Yule Log christened and music – front of fort

4 p.m. Fort Closes – reopens at 5:30 for Candlelight Tours-reservations required

The Western National Parks Association Trade Goods and Bookstore will be open all day Saturday as well as Saturday evening for picking up those unique holiday gifts.

Regular fees will apply for this event. Adults (age 13 and older) are $3; children (age 6 to 12) are $2; kids 5 and under are free. National Park passes are accepted for admission. For more information, visit the park’s website at or call the park at (719) 383-5010.

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