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Fort Ward Museum planning a Christmas-overhaul for the Civil War camp

A reenactor dressed as a Civil War-era depiction of Santa, photo courtesy Fort Ward Museum

A celebration this weekend will look at how Christmas was commemorated during the Civil War at Fort Ward, a Civil War fort turned museum in Alexandria.

The family-friendly event is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 11, from noon to 4 p.m.

“This popular family-oriented event features a patriotic Civil War Santa Claus, reenactors in winter camp settings, period decorations, fort tours, and kids activities,” the Fort Ward Museum said in an email. “The program features a Civil War-era Union Santa Claus, based on an 1863 cover of Harper’s Weekly by artist Thomas Nast, who will interact with the public, welcome children to the reconstructed Officers’ Hut, and visit soldiers in camp.”

The email said reenactors will interpret army life in the winter camps decorated as they would have been during the holiday season. Reenactors will open “boxes from home” and sing period-accurate carols around the campfire. The museum itself will undergo a visual overhaul with some festive greenery and a Victorian parlor tree.

The suggested donation is $2 per person and $5 for families. Masks are required inside the museum and officers’ hut, and are recommended around the camps. Civil War books and stocking stuffers are available in the museum as well, if the younger generation in your family is into that sort of thing.

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