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Old Fort Niagara to stage first re-enactment of the season

YOUNGSTOWN – Old Fort Niagara will host its first re-enactment of the season, Patriots Day Weekend, Saturday and next Sunday, to commemorate the start of the American Revolution on April 19, 1775.

The weekend’s educational and interactive activities are suitable for all ages and the special programs are included with regular admission to the fort.

Patriots Day Weekend also will honor all U.S. military service people – active and veterans – who will be admitted free with proper identification. A special ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday will award Patriots Day plaques to Tech. Sgt. John Joseph Kyle, World War II veteran, European Theater (posthumously), and Spec. 4 John Tully LaVarnway, a Vietnam War veteran.

Re-enactors from Hoisington’s New York Rangers, Brant’s Volunteers, 64th Regiment of Foot, Fort McIntosh Garrison and Old Fort Niagara will portray Colonial Rebels, Colonial Loyalists and British Redcoats. They will present musket-firing and clothing demonstrations, 18th century military drills and be available to meet with visitors and answer questions. Visitors also will be able to “enlist” as a Rebel or Loyalist and participate in mock battles using wooden muskets.

The daily schedule is: 10 a.m. - assemble – re-enactors gather on the parade grounds; 11 a.m. – recruiting demonstration – all are invited to “enlist”; noon – storytelling about the battles of Lexington and Concord that started the American Revolution; 1 p.m. – clothing demonstration; 2 p.m. – musket firing.

In addition, Patriots Day honors will be observed at 2 p.m. next Sunday. Guided tours of the fort will be available.

Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for children 6-12, and free for children 5 and under, and is free to members of Old Fort Niagara.

The fort’s next re-enactment will be Soldiers Through the Ages, May 28 and 29, which will present a military timeline of soldiers at the fort over three centuries.