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Sleigh Rides, Crafts and Music

LAKE CITY, S.D. - Get in the holiday spirit at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park's 14th Annual Frontier Christmas on Saturday Dec. 10. Activities run from noon to 4 p.m. and promise hours of fun for all ages as people relive Christmas traditions.

"This is your chance to celebrate a time-honored holiday at an authentic 1864 military outpost," said Paul Winckler, park manager. "The event is truly a fun-filled weekend offering pure homemade Christmas fun for all."

Throughout the day, visitors can learn how to make numerous holiday decorations, including stringing popcorn garland, and making snowflake and Christmas ornaments in North Barracks Visitor Center. In the barracks kitchen, you can make your own bread creation and have it baked in the fort's authentic wood burning stove. Visitors can also stop by the barracks' mess hall to taste freshly churned butter. Members of the Prairie Fiber Arts Guild will be on hand to demonstrate how wool and other natural fibers are made into clothing.

A number of artists will provide musical entertainment to round out the holiday setting. Performances will be held in the North Barracks Visitor Center and include past favorites John and Thealoy Pallansch, as well as several newcomers to the Frontier Christmas. Visitors will also be able to enjoy the dulcimer music of Lois Beckner and Civil War tunes from Marty DeWitt. The Webster Madrigal Singers and Sisseton High School choir will add to the holiday cheer.

Make plans to join the fort's horse drivers for a sleigh ride through the winter wonderland. Or, stroll the fort grounds and meet the various men and ladies of the fort. Both the blacksmith and the woodwright will be on hand to demonstrate their professions, and stop by the Hospital, Doctor's Quarters and Commanding Officer's Quarters for other fun holiday activities. Father Christmas will even be on hand to share Christmas wishes. At 4 p.m., join in as members of the Frontier Army of the Dakotas light candles on the fort's holiday tree.

There is no cost to participate, although a park entrance license is required and can be purchased at the park. Concessions will be available. Fort Sisseton is located 12 miles southwest of Lake City. For additional information, contact the park office at (605) 448-5474.
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