Fort will gear up for summer with fun events

-Messenger file photo by Hans Madsen
Chris Olsen, of Aurora, Illinois, makes noises with his 1880s era photographer’s birdie as his daughter, Louisa May Olsen, 15, uses her hand as a shutter during a three second tin type exposure during the 2018 Frontier Days at the Fort Museum & Pioneer Village.

There’s a lot of events coming up soon at the Fort Museum & Frontier Village.

The season is kicking off May 3-5.

Misty Mackay, with the Fort Museum, said there will be a special event to start the season.

“We’re having a ‘Night at the Museum’ on the third and fourth,” she said. “You can meet colorful characters and figure out clues. It’s ‘Clue’ meets ‘Oregon Trail.'”

Each participant is given a passport for their trek across the frontier. They might have a handicap, such as dysentery, or an asset like being able to read.

-Messenger file photo by Hans Madsen
John Bonner, of Vincent, whose character is a frontier-era doctor, shows off his book of formulas during the 2018 Original Wild West Frontier Days at the Fort Museum and Pioneer Village.

The May 3 night session, from 6 to 9 p.m. will be held inside the stockade. The May 4 afternoon session, from 3 to 6 p.m. will be held on Frontier Street.

The cost is $10 per adult, $5 per student with a student ID.

Fort Members get in free.

“A family membership is $65 for the season,” Mackay said. “We’ve made it much more family-friendly.”

The Fort will also be hosting a series of Kids Summer Camps in the weeks following Frontier Days.

“They’re from 10 a.m. to noon each day,” Mackay said. “Members get one child attendance for free.”

The camps run for a total of five weeks. Each week is a different course of learning.

“Week one is military life, weeks two and three is pioneer life,” she said. “Week four is native life and week five is nature and conservation.”

“Each day we’ll have a learning activity such as making homemade ice cream,” she said. “There will be lots of hands-on with the kids and they will get to experience the Fort.”

The Fort is also busy preparing for its biggest annual event, Frontier Days on May 31, and June 1-2.

“It’s a family-friendly event,” she said. “There’s lots of kids activities, the old-fashioned funnel cakes are back and there will activity in the buckskinner camp.”

Some of that includes a skillet throwing contest and a cooking contest on June 1 at 2 p.m.

“The public is welcome to watch,” she said.

The annual parade is on tap for its 10 a.m. start time along Central Avenue in downtown Fort Dodge.

Frontier Days hours are May 31, 4 to 11 p.m.; June 1, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; June 2, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Admission is $5 per person.

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