A press release from the National Park Service (see our WritingPlaces.com BoF image galleries here):
Celebrate the 4th with a Bang at Bent’s Old Fort
Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site will commemorate our country’s birth
with a bang during an afternoon celebration on Monday, July 4. A cannon
firing at 12 noon will kick off the festivities.
“Bent’s Fort was known as a ‘cultural crossroads’ where U.S. citizens,
Native Americans and Hispanic peoples came together in business,” said
Chief of Interpretation Rick Wallner. “One visitor in the 1840s wrote of
hearing seven languages spoken within the fort walls.” To honor that
multicultural aspect, the fort’s 4th of July celebration will include
American, Native American and Hispanic traditions.
Besides cannon firings at 12 and 2 p.m., other scheduled events include the
Koshare Dancers interpreting Native American dances in the plaza at 1 p.m.;
a raffle at 2:15 of an 1846 flag that has flown over the fort ramparts; an
1840s frontier burial at 2:30; a debate on issues of the day in the dining
room at 3 p.m.; and a piñata break in the plaza at 3:45. A final cannon
firing at 4:20 will signify the end of the celebration.
All during the afternoon demonstrations will be ongoing throughout the fort
including cooking in the kitchen, games in the billiards room, and traders
in the trade room.
Regular fees of $3 for adults (13 and over), $2 for children (ages 6-12),
free for children 5 and under and all National Park pass holders will apply
during this event. Visitors are advised to be mindful of the heat this
time of year and bring sun protection and water.
Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site is located 8 miles east of La Junta
or 13 miles west of Las Animas on Colorado Highway 194. The site is open
from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily through the summer. For more information,
go to the park website at www.nps.gov/beol or call (719) 383-5010.