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The Siege of Fort Erie
The Remembrance Service
Event, Tourism Ontario, Travel guide
During the war of 1812 the British and their allies tried to reconquer Fort Erie which had been captured by the Americans on 3 July, 1814 shortly after that had happened.
This event which took place on August 15, 1814 after the British had started two days earlier to fire with canons against the fort.
This attack which failed is brought back by many volunteers from the USA and Canada in an annual spectacle at Old Fort Erie.
The main event takes place on a Saturday evening in August, followed by a "Lantern Tour" and a second battle on the following Sunday. Please check the actual time of the next reenactment of the "Siege of Fort Erie" on the Internet.
To see this event was allays free of charge, but not to visit the fort. This may have changed in the meantime.
Please come early in the afternoon and stroll through the camps of the two fighting parties. See how they prepare themselves
for the upcoming battle and how the volunteers enjoy to practise a long gone life style. They are all in costumes of the early 19 th century.
Be aware that the volunteers paid everything out of her own pockets, the costumes, the armors, the gun powder all the travel expenses etc.
A monument dedicates to all who lost their live in the bloody battles in the war of 1812
Talk to the participants, smell the mouth watering cooking, listen to their music. They all have a real good time - including their kids!
For me that was as important as watching the actual re-enactment of the battle.
In remembrance of the many who lost their lives here
Military music accompanied the remembrance service. Shortly before this ceremony started the crowd of spectators grew rapidly. The families of the combatants showed up in their costumes, local politicians came and local visitors.
I think it is worth to spend a long weekend in Fort Erie to see and experience a piece of history. See pretty women and girls attractively dressed, watch children playing long forgotten games, listen to old songs - it will be a very relaxing enjoyable time.
The local business should stop hibernating by using such a great event and offering something special! Do some brainstorming! Make visitors to stay in Fort Erie!
Music from a time long gone
Today all the countries involved in the war of 1812 live peaceful together. For me such reenactments do not stir up old hostilities - at least not here in Fort Erie where all the "combatants" shared a good time together. Soccer fans in Europe should smarten up and learn to forget and forgive.
I love to visit such events. Not because of the battles but to see the live in the camps and to talk to the participants. There is so much to see and to learn.
I hope that in future this event will not only attract local people as visitors. It is worth a longer trip or a change in traveling plans.
Visit also the stands of the various merchants who offer very often interesting things which you cannot easily find anywhere else.
The troops are leaving after the official memorial service
The participants are all volunteers from Canada and the USA who are dedicated to keep the history of our countries alive without hatred and killing each other. Some of the Americans even came from southern states.
All of them enjoy obviously such events very much. Many of them seem to know each other and have fun to renew friendship during such occasions.
All equipment, such as the weapons, clothing, ammunition, tents and all the little utensil of daily live look authentic and had been paid out of their own pockets.
On Sunday morning after the battle a commemoration took place and most of the soldiers of both parties participated in full uniforms.
A brief speech was given in front of the memorial.
In compliance with the history of this event the American flag was flying on both days in the fort. Some Canadians did not agree to that, but we should not change historical facts just to please those people.
I never learned wether the city or the Niagara Region thanked them for what they provided or even a little bit of funding. They would have deserved that! Doing is better than talking and should be rewarded!
According to my feelings the best customers were the participants
I should have purchased a belt from him
After the ceremony was over all the soldiers and their families turned back into their individual camps. I visited both of them and became aware that they still had also fun together.
I even was thinking about becoming also a volunteer because that will certainly be a nice break from daily work.
However, after an accident my walking became really poor and you must be able to march, to stand in line and to carry a gun to be a good "soldier".Each battle party had a separate area for their camp. However, they still had fun together.
Many combatants came with their whole family. Some even were allowed to bring pets with them.
Almost forgotten trades were demonstrated and some of the kids practised their skill as entrepreneurs by selling toys which they had made. Please don't miss all that!
Especially these children were a big surprise for me. They all behaved very well and had obviously a much better time during this event than sitting at home and plying with their electronic toys. Unforgettable memories for their parents and themselves!
Don't forget your video camera! The digital camera which I used for this event could not take videos - I had to use another one and I was too lazy to carry that all the time with me.
McDonald's is more attractive than that - at least for me
I am still not pleased how the so called welcome center is handled. It is impressive big now and it has beautiful washrooms. It was almost very time deserted when I came to use these facilities. Why do we not have there a restaurant furnished to match the old fort, with traditional food and occasionally live entertainment bringing back the past? In Europe they do a much better job to keep history alive and making some money or at least less losses. Ask local business and give them a chance to bit on that!
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