The King's Birthday

Sun Jun 4th, 2023 - All Day
Discover how Fort Niagara's British garrisons celebrated King George III's birthday.

A British soldier, serving at Fort Niagara during the 18th century, got one holiday a year: the King’s Birthday. To celebrate, the fort’s garrison was turned out in new uniforms and powdered hair.  At noon, the artillery fired a “Royal Salute” followed by three volleys of musketry.

On Sunday, June 4, Old Fort Niagara will recreate this celebration with a series of living history programs about the British Army during the 1770s. At that time, the British monarch was King George III, who was born on June 4, 1738, in London. 

Visitors to the event will witness artillery and musket salutes and a program entitled “Busting Battlefield Myths.”  American schoolchildren are often taught that the British Army during the American Revolution was slow, hidebound and vulnerable, dressing in bright red coats and standing in the open. In reality, the British army was tactically innovative, winning most of the battles in which it was engaged. Visitors will learn how the British modified their tactics to deal with the realities of North American warfare.

What about those red coats? Another program features dressing the soldier from shirt and breeches to full uniform and equipment. Visitors will learn about various components of the soldier’s uniform and why they were designed the way they were.

At 2:30 p.m. Visitors can participate in a toast to King George drawn directly from 18th century records. The toast will be followed by a rendition of “God Save the King.”

In the United States, King George III is often viewed as a villain who presided over the British war effort during the American Revolution. To soldiers at Fort Niagara, however, the King’s Birthday was something to look forward to.

Visit Old Fort Niagara’s website (www.oldfortniagara.org) or call 716-745-7611 for more information and a full schedule of activities.

King’s Birthday Schedule

10:30                     Color Ceremony

11:00                     Musket Demo

Noon                     Hair dressing

12:30 pm               Fort Niagara in the American Revolution

1:00 pm                 Musket Salute (Open Castle windows, drum roll, three volleys, followed by cake)

2:00                       Artillery Salute

2:30                       Toast to King George III followed by God Save the King

3:15                       Musket Demo

4:00                       Musket Demo

5:00                       Fort Closes

 

Garrison orders for June 3, 1772

Tomorrow being his Majt's Birthday, the Garrison are to be under arms at 12 O'Clock When the Artillery are to fier a Royal Salute Which will be fold by three Vlooes (Volleys) from the Royal Americans who ar to be very Clean well drest and Powderd, and to be redy to turn out at the beating at the long Roll at 10 O'clock. No men to be absent. All the Windows in the Fort to be open'd during the fiering.

Niagara 4th June 1772

Parole: God bless the King

Countersign: Long May he Reign

General Events Event

Hours of Operation

January 13 through March, Open Wednesday-Sunday  10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m

April 1- June 30, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

July and August, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

September 1 - October 15, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

October 16 - December 31, Open Wednesday through Sunday (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays) 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

The fort will be open daily during Christmas week, December 26 - 31. 

Closed New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. 

 

General Admission

Adults:

$20.00

Children (6 to 12 years) 

$12.00

Children (5 and under):

  FREE

 

 

 

 

Support the Fort

Old Fort Niagara is operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association, an independent, not-for-profit organization established in 1927. We do not rely on tax dollars. Instead, the Fort is funded through a combination of admission fees, museum shop sales, and charitable contributions.

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