The Siege of Fort Erie Reenactment
Explore the camps filled with inspirational re-enactors, then watch the full battle re-enactment on Saturday and Sunday!
Feel what it was like during the War of 1812 as soldiers clashed, cannons were fired, and blood was shed.
Travel back in time for the 34th annual Siege of Fort Erie on August 3 and 4. The weekend promises to be action-packed featuring battle re-enactments, demonstrations, historic merchants and so much more! Get a glimpse into the conflict between British and American forces during the Niagara campaign, when Americans successfully defended Fort Erie against the British Army. Explore the grounds of Old Fort Erie as hundreds of re-enactors from across Ontario and the United States show us why the site is known as Canada’s Bloodiest Battlefield.
All camp and battle re-enactments are free and begin at 10AM at the Welcome Centre.
Admission for Old Fort Erie and Saturday night lantern tour is separate.
Fort Tour: Adult $13.27 + HST · Child $8.41 + HST
Schedule of Events
Saturday, August 3
|10:00 a.m.||Fort and camps open to the public|
|11:00 a.m.||Skirmish: “Major Buck’s Surrender”|
|12:00 p.m.||Surgery in the War of 1812|
|1:00 p.m.||British Artillery Demonstration|
|1:45 p.m.||Performance by the Drums Crown Forces 1812|
|2:00 p.m.||Battle: “Chippawa and Lundy’s Lane”|
|3:00 p.m.||Mini Militia|
|4:00 p.m.||US Artillery Demonstration|
|5:00 p.m.||Fort and camps closed to public|
|8:00 p.m.||Battle: “Drummond’s Night Assault”|
|9:00 p.m.||Lantern Tour: Witness the effects of the failed British Attack!|
Sunday, August 4
|10:00 a.m.||Fort and camps open to the public|
|10:30 a.m.||Memorial Service|
|11:30 a.m.||Mortar Demonstration|
|12:45 p.m.||Performance by The Drums Crown Forces 1812|
|1:00 p.m.||Battle: “The Sortie”|
|2:00 p.m.||Mini Militia|
|2:30 p.m.||Artillery Barrage|
|3:00 p.m.||American Evacuation of the Fort|
|3:30 p.m.||Musket Demonstration|
|4:30 p.m.||Cannon Demonstration|
|5:00 p.m.||Fort and camps closed to the public|
Saturday Night Lantern Tour
Following the dramatic Drummond’s Night Assault, Saturday evening, watch the Fort come to life on a guided lantern tour of the Fort. This fast-paced tour takes place during the aftermath of the battle. You’ll see fighting, witness doctors and nurses performing surgery, and hear stories about the victories and struggles during this time of war. Tours begin at 9PM.
Lantern tour requires separate admission. Season pass holders enter the Fort free all weekend. Free parking in front of Old Fort Erie Visitor Centre.
Tickets: $15 for adults and $9.50 for children.
Historic Merchants & Sutlers
Throughout the weekend, you’ll see historic Merchants and Sutlers dressed in clothing like the 1800s. At the time, Sutlers would sell their goods and provisions to an army or to soldiers, while Merchants were often tradespeople who provided essential services to armies.
Be sure to stop by Merchants and Sutler’s Row to see the unique historical pieces available for purchase.
Throughout the weekend there will be several demonstrations performed by re-enactors.
Let your children see what it takes to become a soldier. They’ll learn about a soldier’s life in battle, take part in simple arms drills, marching and even charge bayonets.
Artillery Barrage & Demonstrations
Get up-close and personal with some of the British and American Artillery used during the war. You’ll learn about different types of shots that were used during the Siege of Fort Erie as you watch the Artillery Barrage.
American Evacuation of the Fort
To conclude the weekend and as a sign of peace, observe re-enactors perform a short ceremony replacing the American flag with the British flag. This was a symbol of future ties these counties now share.
Major Buck’s Surrender
Aug 3, 11:00 A.M.
In 1812, two attempts were made by Americans to capture Fort Erie but failed due to poor weather and administration. On July 3rd, 1814, more than four thousand American forces under the direction of General Jacob Brown crossed the Niagara River. It wasn’t long before the Fort, under command of Major Buck, surrendered and at 6PM nearly 150 British soldiers became prisoners of war. General Brown’s success along the northern border during the war made him a hero.
Chippawa and Lundy’s Lane
Aug 3, 2:00 P.M.
Following the American capture of Fort Erie, on July 5, 1814, US soldiers marched north and defeated the British in the Battle of Chippawa. The armies met again during a vicious battle on the night of July 25 at Lundy’s Lane. This was one of the bloodiest and deadliest battles ever fought in Canada. In the end, each side lost almost 1000 men.
Drummond’s Night Assault
Aug 3, 8:00 P.M.
Battered American forces retreated from Lundy’s Lane to Fort Erie and by August 7, 1814, the main British forces began to prepare their siege line and plan the next attack. Early morning on August 15, Lt. General Gordon Drummond launched a 4-pronged night assault to retake the Fort. Four columns were set up on each side, but disaster struck when 600 pounds of black powder stored in a magazine directly under the gun platform, exploded. Surviving British troops were forced to retreat. Their losses were significant and outnumbered American casualties.
Aug 4, 1:00 P.M.
Hundreds of lives were lost between August 4 and September 21, 1814. On September 17, an attack was launched by General Jacob Brown on British forces. American troops stormed the British siege lines and succeeded in smashing two of the British batteries before a counter attack pushed them back into the Fort. On the night of September 21, prompted by the Sortie, constant rain, poor supply lines and disease, the British broke camp and retired to Chippawa. General Drummond’s Siege of Fort Erie was over, and the Fort remained in American hands.