June 23rd, 2024

Christmas at the Fort a taste of festive history

By Dale Woodard - Lethbridge Herald on December 21, 2021.

Herald photo by Dale Woodard Blanche Bruisedhead, Blackfoot Interpreter at the Galt Museum, gives Fort Whoop-Up tourists at history lesson on Blackfoot Culture during the Christmas at Fort Whoop-Up event this weekend.

The Christmas spirit – and its array of activities – was in full swing Saturday and Sunday at Fort Whoop-Up.
Not only that, it was sold out as Christmas at the Fort took place this weekend in some cooperative weather.
That made it ideal for the horse rides and the viewing of Fort Whoop-Up’s blacksmith in action, who made hand-forged trinkets for the touring groups coming through.
For those hanging in out in the court yard, there was a visit with Santa as well as a serving of saskatoon cider, hot chocolate and Christmas treats to keep things warm and festive.
“It’s been two days for Christmas and it sold out pretty fast,” said Carolyn Ben, program assistant at the Galt Museum. “We change up the activities, so if you’ve come before it will be new and different. Kids are loving it, we have a lot of repeat visitors.”
Indoors, attendees got a first hand history lesson from Galt Museum Blackfoot interpreter Blanche Bruisedhead, who talked of how the Blackfoot lived in the winter and shared stories about the past.
That part of Christmas at the Fort appealed to all age demographics.
“The parents love it,” said Ben. “The kids sit down on a buffalo robe and Blanche and tells them about all the different animals and how they were used.”
Despite concerns over COVID-19, Christmas at the Fort and its mostly-outdoor events were able to go forward for the two days, still paying heed to provincial guidelines.
“We did cap our groups, so it was 20 people an hour divided into groups of 10 and most places are pretty spaced out in the outdoors,” said Ben. “We are asking everyone to show proof of vaccination, QR codes. We’re pretty strict about it.”

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