YOUNGSTOWN – Muskets will be fired as Old Fort Niagara is illuminated by candles during the Castle by Candlelight event there from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 and again on Dec. 10.
This seasonal fundraiser includes hands-on activities and interactive history demonstrations, including the “feu de joie” (firing of joy) celebratory musket firing. The fort and its pathways will be illuminated by candlelight, and the French Castle will be festively decorated by the Youngstown Garden Club.
“Castle by Candlelight sets the scene for the holiday season,” said Robert Emerson, the fort’s executive director. “It is one of my favorite events because it is a spirited, non-commercial, holiday experience for our guests and staff.”
Unique to this event are the "feu de joie" musket and cannon firings at 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. each night, which recreate an 18th century military ceremony following a great victory. In addition, visitors will meet historical characters, such as soldiers, Native Americans, fur traders, skilled artisans and camp followers, who conduct the hands-on activities like writing with a quill pen, playing an 18th century game and making crafts.
The festive atmosphere will include fife and drum music, Celtic favorites and tavern songs. Cooks will prepare and discuss traditional holiday fare, while period characters entertain visitors with tales of winter in the 18th century. A Recollect priest will recite the Christmas story in Latin in the fort's chapel.
Homemade soup, hot cocoa and cookies will be sold at the Trading Post, while supplies last, and musicians will provide lively holiday tunes.
Tickets will be on sale from 6:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Admission is $10 per person, available at the door. Visitors are encouraged to dress for the weather, wear walking footwear and bring a flashlight.