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Castle by Candlelight: A Holiday Highlight

by Charlotte Clark
Wed, Nov 6th 2019 12:00 pm
Castle by Candlelight.
Photo by Wayne Peters.
Castle by Candlelight. Photo by Wayne Peters.
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(November 6, 2019) Youngstown, N.Y. – Old Fort Niagara, the 18th century historic site, is getting ready for its popular Christmas event in a very 21st century way.

As of November 4, Old Fort Niagara started selling advance tickets — online only — for the December 7 and 14 Castle by Candlelight events, running from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m. each night.

“For the past few years, we have had visitors requesting advance-sale tickets for Castle by Candlelight, so we’ve moved in that direction this year,” said Robert Emerson, Executive Director of the Old Fort Niagara Association. “Now they can make their plans in advance while we prepare to welcome them for two evenings of holiday festivities.”

Tickets will be $15 online starting Monday, November 4, through the fort’s website and through its Facebook page. Tickets at the door will be $25. The general admission price applies to everyone except children ages 5 and under.

Castle by Candlelight is a Christmas-themed fundraiser for Old Fort Niagara that raises money for the fort’s educational programming throughout the year. The Youngstown Garden Club decorates the French Castle with natural greens, ribbons and dried flowers, which become the beautiful backdrop for living-history activities in the rooms and spaces within.

Visitors can play period games, write with quill pens, watch an 18th-century meal being prepared, listen to period music, visit the chapel, learn about the fur trade, meet reenactors, watch craftsmen practice their trade, and learn about soldiers’ lives in the wintertime. Historical characters will be aplenty.

Outside the French Castle, bonfires will warm and illuminate Native music, dancing and storytelling, hot food and drinks will be for sale in the Log Cabin, and the ceremonial “feu de joie” salute of muskets and cannon will fire out regularly in celebration of the holidays.

Online tickets will be available through December 6 for the December 7 date; and through December 13 for the December 14 date. The event goes on regardless of the weather and tickets are not refundable. Tickets at the door will be $25. For more information, visit www.oldfortniagara.org.

The Youngstown Garden Club will be onsite November 29 and 30 to decorate the French Castle. Visitors on those days will see how club members take greenery, ribbons, flowers and bows and transforms the French Castle for the holiday season. These are workdays for the club, so the Castle will be busy with members, their tools and decorations.

Old Fort Niagara (www.oldfortniagara.org) is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admissions end 30 minutes before closing. Old Fort Niagara 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. 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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