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1812 Siege Weekend at Old Fort Erie

The muskets are primed and the cannons are loaded for the 26th Annual Siege Weekend at Old Fort Erie. August 11 and 12, witness a cannon-blast-from-the-past as North America’s largest battle re-enactment weekend displays the excitement and drama of the War of 1812. We have the full event schedule to make planning your weekend easier.

Between 700 and 800 re-enactors are prepped for the event, complete with period muskets, rifles, artillery, and finally the big bang: watch as Old Fort Erie re-enactors blow up the fort with pyrotechnics! Watch it all from the side lines or take a lantern tour Saturday night to witness what it would feel like in the heat of the battle.

Be sure to catch the battle re-enactments on Saturday at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 8 p.m. Hundreds of re-enactors will relive Drummond’s Night Assault on the fort. Follow the action up-close and personal, followed by a lantern tour of the fort under attack at 9 p.m. Best of all? You can watch the re-enactments and walk amongst the camps for free. Admission is $12.95 for adults and $7.95 for children for entrance to the fort, day programs and the evening lantern tour.

On Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m., a memorial service honours those who fell in battle. At 1 p.m., there will be a final re-enactment of the American Sortie.

26th Annual Siege of Old Fort Erie
Schedule of Events
Hourly tours of the Old Fort Erie start at the Welcome Centre from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. At 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., heritage guides will escort tours to the battle site.
Saturday, August 11
10:00 a.m. Fort and Camps open to the public
11:00 a.m. South Field – Major Buck’s Surrender and ‘Stars & Stripes’ run up
12:00 p.m. Inside Fort – Uniforms of the War of 1812
1:00 p.m. South Field – British Artillery Demonstration
2:00 p.m. South Field – Battle
3:00 p.m. Camp Displays
4:00 p.m. Inside Fort – U.S. Artillery Demonstration
6:00 p.m. Fort and Camps will be closed to the public until the reenactment at 8:00 p.m.
8:00 p.m. South Field – Battle – Drummond’s night assault on the Fort
9:00 p.m. In the Fort – Lantern Tours* – ‘After the Battle’ see the effects of the Failed British Attack
*Separate tickets are required and are available at the Gift Shop – regular admission applies. Tours start at the front gate of the Fort.
Sunday, August 12
10:00 a.m. Fort and Camps open to the public
10:30 a.m. Memorial Service in the South Field
1:00 p.m. South Field – Battle: ‘U.S. Sortie’
2:00 p.m. In the Fort – American Evacuation of the Fort & ‘Union Jack’ run up
4:00 p.m. Camp closed to the public
5:00 p.m. Fort closed
This schedule is subject to change without notice
Hours Admission
Sat, Aug 11 (Day Programs or Lantern Tour)
Fort Hours 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Adult (13+) $12.25
Battles 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 8 p.m. Children (6-12) $7.95
Lantern Tour 9 p.m. Children 5 and under FREE
Sun, Aug 12 There is no cost to view the re-enactments and walk amongst the camps.
Fort Hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Memorial Service 10:30 a.m.
Battle 1 p.m.

Explore Niagara’s History on the Heritage Trail

At the turn of the 19th century, conflicts in Europe had a direct impact on British North America and the United States–newly independant after the American Revolution in latter quarter of the previous century. Pushed to the edge by Great Britain, President James Madison and the United States Congress declared war on Great Britain on June 18, 1812, attacking its colony, Canada.

During this time, our peaceful and scenic Parkway was a battlefield. Now, after almost 200 years of peace, you can explore the heroes and legends of this tuultuous time. Welcome to the Niagara Parks War of 1812 Heritage Trail. A 53-km, scenic route awaits along the Niagara Parkway, between Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake, where you’ll discover over 100 plaques and monuments that helped establish peace between two great nations.

Image of costumed guides outside McFarland HouseStarting north in Niagara-on-the-Lake, McFarland House stands as a testament to gracious 1800s-style living. This beautiful Georgian home is the oldest property owned by the The Niagara Parks Commission. Qualified costumed interpreters provide guided tours of this historic home throughout the day, or enjoy the exquisite Tea Room, featuring over 30 kinds of permium loose leaf tea and a lovely wine list. McFarland House is open daily from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., with last seating and tours one half-hour before closing.

Image of the interier of the Laura Secord HomesteadNext, explore the home of Canada’s Most Famous Heroine. During the war, Laura Secord set out on a perilous journey to warn Lt. James Fitzgibbon at Beaverdams of a planned American assault. This 32-km trek took more than 18 hours to complete, but accompanied by British-allied Natives, she delivered her warning. As a result, the Natives forces, under the command of John Norton and Dominique Ducharme, ambushed the invading Americans and defeated them in the Battle of Beaverdams, June 24, 1813.

Enjoy a guided tour of Laura Secord Homestead, enjoy light refreshments, ice cream, and Laura Secord chocolates. Open 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., with the last tour beginning one hour before closing.

Image of a printing press at the Mackenize PrinteryRight nearby, you’ll learn the secrets behind the original text message at the Mackenzie Printery.  The restored home of rebel publisher William Lyon Mackenzie displays 500 years of printing technology, amid the authentic ambiance of a period print shop. Canada’s largest operating printing museum is open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Next, stop for lunch at Queenston Heights Restaurant before taking a self-guided walking tour of this National Historic Site which tells the story of the famous War of 1812 Battle of Queenston Heights. Admission to Brock’s Monument is available at an additional cost, where you’ll get a fantastic view of Lake Ontario and Niagara Falls.

Wednesday nights through August 29, you can experience a unique dinner party, 1812 style, at the Queenston Heights Restaurant’s “A Soldier’s Story”. Enjoy the gorgeous covered patio, and learn about the Battle of Queenston Heights. Call (905) 262-4276 to book your reservation.

Finally, at Old Fort Erie, experience the sights and sounds of the Fort under Image of a battle reeanctment at Old Fort Eriesiege at this War of 1812 National Historic Site. Join British or American soldiers on a tour of the grounds and authentic buildings, experience live musket demonstrations, and in August, witness full battle reenactments like you’ve never seen before! Catch Canada’s largest annual reenactment and witness the Siege of Fort Erie–Canada’s bloodiest battlefield– on August 11 and 12.

Until then, check out Old Fort Erie’s Friday Night Frights July 13.  This popular tour fills up fast, so call 905-871-0540 to reserve your spot!

If you’re interested in exploring the Heritage Trail this summer and helping us commemorate 200 years of peace between two great nations, the Niagara Parks Heritage Trail Pass gives you admission into McFarland House, Laura Secord Homestead, Mackenzie Printery, and Old Fort Erie. You’ll save 35% off regular admission prices and receive additonal coupons, including half-priced admission to the Sir Adam Beck Power Tour. Passes are available in-person or online. Visit the Niagara Parks Heritage website for more info, an interactive map of the sites, and some fascinating bits of history.


Murder Mystery Returns to Old Fort Erie

Murder Mystery Returns to Old Fort Erie!
September 10 & 11 at 7pm

Experience a murder most foul in the creepy interior of the old stone fort. A different story will be featured each night, with discounted admission for both dates. Exciting prizes to be won!

Old Fort Erie

Old Fort Erie

Friday, September 10:
“Militia Muster”

Saturday, September 11:
“Wedding in the Fort”

This is a family-friendly event. All ages are welcome.

Adults 13+ $10 per night or $15 for both nights
Children 6-12 $5 per night or $8 for both nights
Children 5 and under FREE!

Visit the Old Fort Erie Website

Evening at the Fort

Evening at the Fort

Located at 350 Lakeshore Road in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, Old Fort Erie is approximately 30 kilometres (19 miles) or a scenic 20-minute drive south of Niagara Falls and is close to the Peace Bridge from Buffalo, New York. The grounds and the main floor rooms of the buildings are wheelchair accessible. Old Fort Erie will remain open daily until October 10, even during construction on the NEW 1812 Bicentennial Visitor Centre project. Stay tuned for updates on this exciting new chapter at the Fort!

The Niagara Parks Commission is an agency of the Ministry of Tourism that has operated at no cost to taxpayers since 1885.