Fort Assiniboine will soon be celebrating a huge milestone, 200 years of history. Built by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1823, following their merger with the North West Company, Fort Assiniboine is Alberta’s second oldest fur trading fort.
Fort Assiniboine will celebrate its 200th birthday with a weekend filled with an impressive slate of events and activities from July 7 – 9.
Friday night will kick off the festivities with Voices of Legend at the Fort Assiniboine Legion #210, featuring music by Elvis and The Beatles. Tickets are available at the door ($30), and the doors open at 7:00 PM.
The Fort Assiniboine Museum will be open from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM on Saturday and 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM on Sunday. Indigenous showcases and demonstrations will also be held on Saturday and Sunday, with teepee displays, storytelling from local elders, and children’s crafts.
Saturday’s events include axe throwing, a craft corner, and black powder firearms demonstrations, but the big attraction in the afternoon will be the arrival of a brigade of over a dozen voyageur canoes on the Athabasca River at around 3:00 PM. The group will land at the Woodlands RV Park & Marina and begin their parade up to the Arena for the day’s main events.
Register in advance for a ticket to enjoy a free BBQ supper at the Arena from 5:00 – 7:00 PM on Saturday; tickets are available online (fortassiniboine.ca) or at the Woodlands County Office. After supper, stay for some free entertainment with Metis fiddle and dance performances by the Orr family, followed by the night’s headliner, Calvin Vollrath & Country Swing Entertainment.
Sunday’s events include knife throwing, kid’s games at the school, and a demonstration by the Barrhead Spinners & Weavers Guild. From 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, attendees can join the voyageurs for a two km paddle down the Athabasca River.
The Fort Assiniboine Museum will host a chilli lunch from 12:00 – 1:30 PM for $10, with the proceeds going toward supporting the museum. Other lunch options will include local restaurants and an on-site food truck.
At 1:45 PM, the Barrhead Walkie-Talkie Volkssport Walking Club will host a free guided walk along the Original Hudson Bay Cart Trail. The trail is about 5 km long, so be sure to wear suitable footwear.
Parking will be available at the Sports Grounds, with handicapped parking along Main Street in front of the Legion and Ag Building (make sure you have a handicapped parking placard). In anticipation of a high number of visitors, parking attendants will direct vehicles shortly after they enter the town.
So, mark your calendars for July 7 – 9 and help Fort Assiniboine ring in its 200th birthday!
By Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Jun 28, 2023