Get out your top hats and bonnets — it’s almost time for the first-ever Regency Skate event at Fort George National Historic Site in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
On Jan. 5, the Fort will host an old-time experience, during which people are encouraged to come out dressed in their finest regency-era attire.
“The Regency era is right within the War of 1812 era,” said Peter Martin, special events coordinator for the Fort, noting event staff are always looking for ways to connect the rink to the interior activities.
Martin, who works with “a lot of reenactors,” said it just made sense to host a period-skating event beside the historic fort.
There will be plenty to do during the day, such as musket demonstrations inside the actual Fort, short information sessions on the history of hot chocolate, tea and coffee, and a pair of period-skates for all to check out.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever tried period skates, but they’re not fun,” jested Martin. “They just attached to the bottom of your shoe with straps. So I you go straight it’s all right, but as soon as you go to turn it’s like BOOM.”
The skates, original artifacts, won’t be used for skating.
Scott Finlay, the Fort’s corporate programming coordinator, will also give a presentation on the history of skating.
The day will finish off with a period-fashion show and costume contest for those who come dressed up, judged by Isaac Brock himself — impersonated by Finlay.
He said not everyone needs to come in full Regency attire, and that people can just throw on a top hat if they don’t have a costume.
“There will be all different levels,” said Martin. “There will be people that are reenactors who do this as their hobby. They do it in the summer and they have all kinds of clothes that they spend lots of money on” said Martin.
But for those who don’t want to spend a lot, he said people can make their own era clothing. He recommended top hats, pantaloons, gloves, waistcoats and bonnets.
The Fort website has a list of things which are “period appropriate,” Finlay said.
“Some people will just come with a top hat on, and that’s fine too.”
The rink will be also open for public skating during the event, starting at 1 p.m.
Regular pricing applies to access the inside of the Fort. Skating is free.