THUNDER BAY – With the snow and cold weather, Fort William Historical Park is offering appealing ways for you and your family to celebrate the joys of the season. With a span of activities ranging from ghostly tales of Christmas, to exciting events and activities during the holidays and carrying onward into the New Year FWHP has something for everyone.
Coming up next week, you can launch into the seasonal spirit with Rogue Productions. Their popular theatrical rendition of “Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol,” will play on December 10th to12th and16th to19th.
You and your family will delight in this rendition of the enduring tale of Ebenezer Scrooge. Follow as Scrooge travels through time and ends up discovering the true meaning of Christmas from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. This heart-warming production has become a seasonal staple for Rogue Productions since 2002. Tickets are $15 adults and $10 for seniors and students. Performances begin at 8:00 p.m. in the Great Hall.
There are many holiday happenings at FWHP. After Christmas, they continue with the New Year’s Eve Family Frolic, on Friday, December 31st where the festivities will run from 6 to 10 pm, and will feature a colourful array of indoor and outdoor activities.
Through the winter, outdoor fun at FWHP includes the sliding hill, skating rink (bring your skates!), snowshoeing (snowshoes provided), bonfires, heritage games of shinny, and snowsnake. In addition there will be entertainment on the main stage. If Jack Frost gets a little too nippy on your nose, you can head indoors.
There you will find a variety of craft activities and children’s performers. Put your creativity to work in competing for prizes in the “Crazy Hat” contest.
FWHP is pleased that their new caterer, The Victoria Inn will be serving tasty snacks and refreshments as well as hosting a special New Year’s buffet in the Visitor Centre from 4 to 7 pm.
For New Years, no reservations will be needed. New Year’s buffet fees are: Adults $22.75 and Children $11.41 and includes HST, gratuity, and event admission. Fees include admission to the Fort. Cash and credit cards are welcome.
A spectacular fireworks show will cap off the celebrations at 10 pm, allowing families to enjoy an early but exciting New Year’s celebration before heading home to tuck the young ones into bed.
New Year’s Eve admission is at the door. Adults $7.50, Youth 6-12 $5.00, Child 2-5 $3.75, Infants 24 months, free. Cash, credit cards, and debit cards are welcome for admission. Advance tickets are available at the Visitor Centre.
For special holiday gatherings, the Fort’s food service caterer, the Victoria Inn, are also getting into the seasonal spirit, offering a variety of holiday menus and buffets. Selections run the gamut from three-course meals with appealing entrees to holiday buffets complemented by delicious desserts. Price per person runs from $32 to $39. For more information, call 473-2344.
FWHP is not forgetting the artisans this winter either. There will be a number of Artisan workshops at the Fort in February and March 2011. Participants will work in small groups under the tutelage of experienced artisans to produce unique heritage items and learn creative techniques.
Workshops include weathervanes, wall sconces, appliqué beadwork, machine sewing basics, Ojibwa snowshoes, cedar buckets, tin storm lanterns, dream catcher earrings, moccasins, birch bark baskets, and quillwork.
These creations make for distinctive gifts and mementoes that are both decorative and functional for the home. For more information, call 473-2344 or visit the website at www.fwhp.ca under “Learning Adventures.”
More seasonal fun is in store during the Voyageur Winter Carnival, happening February 19th-21st, 2011. Dog sled rides and tubing highlight some of the varied outdoor recreational activities along with the snow sculpting competition and contests for all ages ranging from log sawing to snow shovelling.
You can still visit the Fort during winter. Walking tours are available every day at 11 am and 2 pm, respectively. A costumed character will escort your party to key areas around the historic site. Covered under a blanket the snow, and ensconced within the surrounding forest, winter’s beauty gives the Fort an intimate, enchanting appearance, removed from the hustle and bustle intrusions of modern-day life. Tours last roughly 90 minutes. Please dress accordingly for weather.
Bookings for conference facilities and education and community group programs are also available year-round.