Stay Warm at Christmas at Old Fort Concho
Despite some challenging weather predictions for the weekend, Christmas at Old Fort Concho will take place on all three days this Friday through Sunday, Dec. 6-8, with a full schedule of programs and events.
Fort Concho Manager Bob Bluthardt noted more than two-thirds of the event is held indoors, including virtually all of the entertainment, all children's workshops except one, all main merchants and special displays.
Fort staff members are spending much of the first – and balmier – part of the week placing all exterior decorations and displays while making adjustments to the buildings for extra and temporary heat.
The Parade Ground vendors and living history people will brave the cooler temperatures, but a number of campfires placed throughout the area can warm guests as they scamper from camp to camp.
“We did cancel the period baseball game," staff member Cory Robinson said, “but we expect all of the outside living history activity to take place.”
The artillery will fire hourly at the east end of the fort, and the Concho Cowboy Company and other camps will be available to visit with people at the west end. Period band entertainment will be moved to Barracks 5, where a blazing fire can keep folks warm.
Thursday night’s Michael Martin Murphey concert, the Saturday Pancakes with Santa, the Saturday night Frontier Christmas Dance and the Sunday morning Cowboy breakfast and church service take place inside the heated Fort Concho Stables. Many other favorites take place inside buildings: the gingerbread house and decorated cookie contest, the children’s art contest, and the chapel and Arclight entertainment areas.
Living history coordinator Chris Morgan said the fort has stocked up with 10 cords of firewood, “so no re-enactor will suffer.” Bluthardt also noted the staff is installing special heaters for the volunteers who man the ticket and soda booths.
“The event has endured snow, ice, dust, high winds and some days in the mid-80s,” Bluthardt said. “Staff and volunteers stand ready to offer a great weekend to all our guests … with no extra charge for the holiday-themed weather.”