A great weekend at Bent's Old Fort drew participants from all over the state and elsewhere.
A great weekend at Bent’s Old Fort drew participants from all over the state and elsewhere. Seven Boy Scout troops spent the night at the Kiva on Friday or Saturday or both, and a lot of them stuck around for the big cleanup on Sunday. Fifty interpreters were signed up to play a part in the 1846 Christmas at the Fort, and only a few didn’t show up. The attendance was a new record of 1,400 over the weekend, with 1,170 on Saturday along. “Felt like about a million,” said Greg Holt, as he handed out certificates to the volunteers on Sunday morning.
The Boy Scouts appeared to be having the best time, although so many activities were taking place at one time it would be hard for anybody not to find amusement. On Friday night, the action started with the evening tours. All tours were full, 20 on Friday night and 30 on Saturday night. There were few no-shows. After the tour, the group gathered in the courtyard for cookies and caroling around a bonfire. A favorite souvenir is the recipe book one can get at the bakery room.
The toy-making was the first activity on Saturday morning, with the youngsters learning a toy can have moving parts not activated by batteries and be constructed of wood and twine. Rides in a big frontier wagon were furnished by Doc Jones and his team of Percherons, which appeared to be pretty tired by the end of the day. In the afternoon, the pinata was taken down the old frontier way, which wasn’t for babies. Then, at 2 p.m., the hunt was on for the Yule Log, which was dragged back into the Fort. The cannon was fired at twilight, and it was time for another evening tour, reservations only.
The young ones probably didn’t need to be rocked to sleep, and neither did the enactors. They have a lot of fun, but staying in character and sharp all day long to keep the tourists entertained is a big job. The group was treated to breakfast on Sunday morning, thanked for their service by Greg Holt and Fort Superintendent Alexa Roberts, then awarded their certificates for hours of service. The Boy Scouts stuck around to help with the cleanup on Sunday morning. There will be many a game of “Rounders” between now and Christmas in the Denver and Colorado Springs areas.