With the summer coming to a slow end it’s nice to sit back and reflect on all the fun events that Kingston has offered. The Market Square booths and summer attractions come and go, but nothing in Kingston is as timeless as Fort Henry . When most Kingston natives think about Fort Henry they recall grade school memories of field trips. Think back to being a young kid saluting your officer of the day and wearing an oversized wool jacket, aiming a toy riffle at the limestone walls. Fort Henry is what the CN Tower is to locals in Toronto: just another tourist spot; you go once if at all and that’s it. However, one shouldn’t judge this unique museum on first glance.
Each summer when the students return home from their schools, Queen’s or otherwise, there are some who are brave enough to apply at the Fort. From early hours in the morning to late in the evening these young men and women are up shining their brass and boots, putting on their wool tunics to stand in the blazing sun all day, creating the atmosphere of a true running fort of the late 1800’s. They are trained how to use dated weaponry from scratch as well as taught firearm drill. The work is hard and long as each member of the staff is interpreting from the moment they put on their uniforms to the moment the flag is down. The young men and women of Fort Henry put on their Sunset Ceremony every Wednesday nights to show off the skills they have learned over the summer, combining the efforts of the squad and drum corps. After seeing a couple of shows myself you can spot the progress, each show being a little better than the last. And with the promise of big guns you know the kids will love it.
Fort Henry has earned it’s place as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site this year which is a proud achievement for Kingston.If it has been “years” since you’ve seen a Sunset Ceremony, or if it’s your first time, I recommend taking the family, or out of town friends for the evening of guns, drums, and a little heritage.