Celebrate the Return of Summer With WWII Events and Summer Camps at Historic Fort Snelling in June

For immediate release

Release dated: 
May 1, 2013
Media contacts: 

Jessica Kohen • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3148 • jessica.kohen@mnhs.org

Megan Lawson • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3141 • megan.lawson@mnhs.org

Tom Pfannenstiel • Historic Fort Snelling • 612-725-2430 •

Quick facts: 

Place: Historic Fort Snelling
Address: 200 Tower Avenue
Fort Snelling History Center, St. Paul MN 55111
Phone: 612-726-1171
Email: ftsnelling@mnhs.org
Website: http://www.historicfortsnelling.org

Celebrate the Return of Summer With WWII Events and Summer Camps at Historic Fort Snelling in June

Historic Fort Snelling is part of the Society's network of 26 historic sites and museums. In addition to a changing daily experience, visitors can explore unique programs throughout the summer including special events, hands-on workshops and summer camps.

What: World War II Weekend
When: Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
Cost: $11 adults, $9 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for children age 5 and under and MHS members.

WWII ReenactorsTravel back in time to the World War II era to learn about Minnesota's role on the battlefields and at home. Costumed staff, weapon firing demonstrations and an encampment of Allied reenactors occupy the historic fort during this special weekend devoted to Minnesota's Greatest Generation.

Guests are also welcome to participate in many hands-on family activities including crafts, games and an obstacle course.

What: Blacksmith for a Day I
When: Saturday, June 15
Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cost: $65; $60 MHS members
Reservations: Required; register online.

BlacksmithingLearn the centuries-old skill of blacksmithing with the Fort's smiths in this newly redesigned program. Students will select a project, work the forge, pound out the hot metal and shape the iron using hammer and tongs, just as blacksmithing was done two centuries ago. Participants will be able to take their finished project home.

This class is limited to four people, which allows for a more intimate experience and greater hands-on opportunities with the instructors. Children ages 13-17 must be accompanied by an adult.

What: Blacksmith for a Day II (Advanced)
When: Saturday, June 29
Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cost: $75; $70 MHS members.
Reservation: Required; register online.

Students who previously participated in the Blacksmith For a Day I program are encouraged to return to Historic Fort Snelling for this program designed specifically to further sharpen their blacksmithing skills.

This program, like the first, is limited to four participants to ensure that all students get the most from their blacksmithing experience. Participants will work on an advanced smithing project to make a real working knife. Children ages 13-17 must be accompanied by an adult.

What: Friends of the Upper Post WWII Tours: Biking
When: Sunday, June 16
Time: 9 a.m.
Cost: Free

During World War II, over 300,000 members of Minnesota's Greatest Generation began their military careers at Historic Fort Snelling. They were introduced to military life, were tested and assigned to units, and finally sent on to training bases around country. Military police and railroad engineers, as well as translators of the Military Service Language School received their specialized training at Fort Snelling.

Friends of Fort Snelling tours are 90 minutes and cover various aspects of Fort Snelling's 20th century history. Bike tours (like this one) focus on the stables and warehouse district of the Fort. All tours start at 9 a.m. in front the the HQ building, which is the main building on the post with the clock tower on the corner of Taylor Avenue and Colville Avenue. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and to bring water.

Summer Camps
Reservations: Required; register online.
These popular summer camps have limited space and do fill up quickly.

What: Soldier One-Day Camp
When: Saturday, June 1
Time: Noon to 4 p.m.
Cost: $50; $45 MHS members

SoldiersThis one-day program invites "new recruits" to learn about the lives of soldiers during the 1820's at Historic Fort Snelling. Campers will learn to march and drill, and will get to watch musket firings, cannon firings and much more.

Space is limited to 12. This program is for ages 8-12.

What: Huck Finn Summer Camp
When: Tuesday-Friday, June 18-21
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 pm. each day.
Cost: $235; $220 for MHS members.

CampersMark Twain's classic "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" serves as the basis for this camp, designed for the adventurous and active kid. Campers will explore the book and its themes of adventure and childhood fun through hands-on learning and activities in the one-of-a-kind setting of Historic Fort Snelling.

Activities include fishing, hiking, cooking outdoors, canoeing and more. Space is limited to 14. This camp, designed for children ages 9 to 12, has received Nickelodeon's Parent's Choice Award.

About Historic Fort Snelling

Historic Fort Snelling is located near the airport at the intersections of Hwys. 5 and 55. Originally a frontier outpost, this fort was later used for military training from the Civil War through World War II. Overlooking the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, the site is staffed with living-history interpreters who portray the soldiers, cooks, laundresses, storekeepers and craftspersons who inhabited the fort in the 1800s. The stone and wood-frame buildings have been restored to their original appearance. For more information, call 612-726-1171.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Society’s calendar of events is posted online at www.mnhs.org/calendar. The website also has information about all of the Society’s programs, museums and historic sites.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.