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The Weather Network
Sep. 18, 2019 | Wednesday
Local News
Cannons fire at the fort
Cannon fire at Fort George. (Brittany Carter/Niagara Now)

Cannons were ablaze on Saturday when Fort George celebrated the 303rd anniversary of the Canadian Royal Regiment of Artillery.

The weekend also marked the 206th anniversary of the bombardment of Fort George, which occurred on May 25, 1813.

Peter Martin, special events co-ordinator for Fort George, said the coinciding of the two important dates helped the historical site tell different stories about Canada’s artillery.

Artillery Day, which is recognized across Canada, fell on May 26, but Martin said the event was planned on Saturday to combine both events and to not step on the toes of Fort Erie, which he said would also likely have celebrations for the day.

Throughout the afternoon, the historical site conducted cannon demonstrations to showcase the heavy artillery used from past to present.

Martin said the cannon firings are always a big draw, which is part of what made Saturday’s event a success.

“People love cannons, but you have to be very careful because it’s like a firework. It’s beautiful and makes cool noises, but if you put your hand in front of a firework when it goes off, you’re going to get hurt. This is the same.”

Safety regulations are in place to allow the fort to fire the cannons regularly.

“The Historic Weapons Advisory Committee for Parks Canada, which is a national committee, deals with the safety and the operation. Safety is our number one concern for the staff and the public,” he said.

Educational talks on the British army and the different faces of artillery were open to all visitors of the fort during the event on Saturday. Children were encouraged to take advantage of the Kiddie Boom demonstrations in the afternoon, where they commanded the troops through a faux cannon firing.

While Artillery Day hasn’t been an annual event at Fort George, Martin said he would like to bring it back in the future.

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