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French Heritage, a Free Music Performance and Commemorating World War I

by Charlotte Clark
Mon, Oct 23rd 2017 10:45 am

(October 23, 2017) Youngstown, N.Y. - Old Fort Niagara will offer diverse and engaging programming in November that includes French Heritage Day, a hearth cooking workshop, a free Scottish music performance, and a World War I history presentation.  In addition, veterans and active military people will be admitted free on Veterans Day, November 11.

November 4: French Heritage Day, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

French Heritage Day is an interactive living-history program that features the French influences on the fort in its earliest years. Throughout the day, there will be demonstrations of French soldier life, musket and artillery firings, the fur trade, foodways, travel, music and folklore of New France. Staff and volunteers will be dressed in period clothes and invite the public to learn more about the earliest influences on the fort.

The cost to attend French Heritage Day is regular admission to the fort ($12 for adults, $8 for children ages 6-12, free for children 5 and under) and is free to members of the Old Fort Niagara Association.

November 4: Hearth Cooking Workshop, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A hearth cooking workshop will also be offered during French Heritage Day under the direction of Niagara County Historian Kate Emerson. Participants will use authentic 18th-century recipes to prepare dishes and desserts that are cooked over an open fire in the French Castle boulangerie. Ingredients, recipes and cooking tools are provided. Registration is required by calling (716) 745-7611 and the cost is $50 per person, or $45 for members.

November 6: Scottish Fiddle and Cello Performance, 7 p.m., Free

Old Fort Niagara will present a free concert of Scottish music at 7 p.m. in the Visitor Center theatre. Tim Macdonald, on fiddle, and Jeremy Ward, on cello, are making an album-release tour stop at the fort to perform a full playlist of historic music and discuss how music was made, and played, in the 18th century. They describe their style as "mixing High Baroque chamber music with high-energy dance tunes, and their 18th-century Scottish aesthetic brings a fresh perspective to the tradition." More information is available at www.timandjeremy.com.

November 11: Fort Niagara's Role in World War I, 1 p.m.

Free admission for veterans and military personnel all day

On Veterans Day at 1 p.m., Robert Emerson, Executive Director of the Old Fort Niagara Association, will present a program in the Visitor Center theatre about Fort Niagara's role in World War I. "New" Fort Niagara was used as a training facility for two United States Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) camps in 1917 when the ROTC program was just getting started. Mr. Emerson's presentation will share historical background information and photos that show how the area, now known as Fort Niagara State Park, was used to train young men for military service 100 years ago. This accompanies a special World War I exhibit in the Visitor Center museum that features uniforms, artifacts, letters and photos specific to the training camps.

Veterans and active military people with ID will be admitted free on Veterans Day. Otherwise, the cost to attend the presentation and visit the World War I exhibit is included in regular admission to the fort ($12 for adults, $8 for children ages 6-12, free for children 5 and under) and is free to members of the Old Fort Niagara Association.

Old Fort Niagara's final special event of 2017 will be Castle by Candlelight on December 9 and 16, starting at 6:30 p.m. Visitors will tour the French Castle, decorated for the season by the Youngstown Garden Club, and lit entirely by candles. Meet historical characters, and witness the firing of the grand feu de joie. This is a fundraiser to benefit educational programming. Admission is $10.00 per person.

Old Fort Niagara (www.oldfortniagara.org) is a Registered National Historic Landmark and New York State Historic Site operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association, a not-for-profit organization, in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The site is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gates close 30 minutes after the last ticket sale. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.


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



Children (6 to 12 years) 


Children (5 and under):






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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