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Fort Frederick State Park Hosts ‘A Pleasant Diversion’

Eighteenth Century Recreation Highlighted Oct. 21-22

Aerial photo of Fort Frederick State ParkVisitors to Fort Frederick State Park this weekend can experience the type of diversions from military life that were available at the fort during the French and Indian War, as members of the recreated Joshua and Alexander Beall’s Company and Maryland Militia bring the fort to life.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, visitors of all ages will be able to play with toys and games of the era as well as try their hand at games popular in 18th century taverns. Also on Saturday at 7 p.m. there will be a campfire program celebrating Guy Fawkes/Bonfire Night, a traditional English commemoration of the failed 1605 attempt by conspirators to blow up Parliament and assassinate King James.

“This program gives our visitors a chance to take part in some of the ways people in the 18th century had fun,” said Maryland Park Service Ranger Bob Study. “They will also have the opportunity to play games, experience a puppet show and see the effects of a musket fired at target.”

Event highlights and times include:

  • Trap Ball: Anyone can try their skill with bat and ball during this 18th century field game, 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day.
  • Foot races on the parade ground and around barracks: Children and adults can compete for fun in sprint races and a distance run around the fort. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day.
  • “Horatio Hunnybuns Saves the Day” puppet show: A rollicking adventure based on a period puppet show. 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. each day.
  • Volunteer militia drill: Volunteers of all ages are welcomed to join the soldiers, and learn the basics of military drill, noon and 3 p.m. each day.
  • Firing at marks – the best shots in the fort will demonstrate the use of smoothbore muskets on the firing range as they fire at targets, 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. each day.

In addition to programs at the fort, programs in the Fort, the park visitors center and Civilian Conservation Corps Museum have more exhibits about the park’s history, including copies of period uniforms, archaeological artifacts and more.

There is a service charge of $3 for residents and $5 for nonresidents. Disabled access is available, however, most of the event activities are situated on grassy areas that may present difficulty.