Celebrate American Independence at Bent’s Fort


The public is invited to join the denizens of Bent’s Old Fort on Tuesday, July 4 from 1:30 to4:30 pm to celebrate American Independence during the 2017 Frontier Fourth Celebration.

The 4th of July was one of the few holidays celebrated across the country in the 1840s. The victory over the British in the War for Independence was still only a few generations in the past, and the War of 1812, which some Americans considered “a second battle for Independence” was but a few decades past.

The holiday will be commemorated at the fort in “1840s-style” with a parade, cannon firings, orations and games. Some of the cross-cultural nature of the fort will be shown with a piñata break.  A replica 1845 flag that has flown over the fort will also be given away.

The full schedule can be found below:

1:30 pm     Parade – the 1846 parade will start at the visitor parking lot and travel to the fort.  Raise the large flag and give a cheer for the freedoms we enjoy.

1:45               Cannon Firing – in front of fort

2:00               Reading of the Declaration of Independence – fort plaza

2:15               Frontier Celebrations – hear stories about the wild ways of celebrating Independence Day on the frontier – fort plaza

2:30               Benton-Webster Debate – in the dining room

2:45               Pastimes of Times Past – billiards, card games, storytelling – billiards room

3:00               Temperance Speech – billiards room

3:15               Cannon Firing – in front of fort

3:30               Piñata Break – kids can try to break the jug to get some candy – fort plaza

3:45               Flag Give-away – enter a drawing for a 27-star flag that has flown over the fort – register when you enter the fort – fort plaza

4:00             Cannon Firing – in front of fort

The park’s normal living history fee applies to this event. The cost is $3.00 for visitors 13 and older and $2.00 for ages 6 to 12.  Kids 5 and under are free.   National Park Passes are honored for this fee.  Fees will be collected at the fort entrance.

As always, visitors should be prepared for the weather. Water, sun screen and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

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, visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/beol and click on “Special Events” or call the park at (719) 383-5010.

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