As the sun fades, the air fills with the roar of a cannon. No, this is not our city bracing for war. It’s Fort Henry NHS as it tells the tale our nation’s early years of confederation and that of the Fort Henry Guard Drums, Drill Squad and Artillery Detachments. The Fort Henry Sunset Ceremony is just that, an official ceremony to mark the end of the day and the lowering of the Union Jack flag. Upon a recent visit, thanks to Fort Henry NHS, our staff were able to attend the event. It’s a must see event this summer in Kingston!
The redesigned Fort Henry Sunset Ceremony with the addition of an enhanced narrative, tells a story of life in the Fort Henry Guard from a Sergeant’s widow, while producing moments of comic relief during an interaction with someone who has a different perspective of the Fort Henry Guard. These new acquaintances describe the differences in our country today and that of the time when the Guard was stationed at the Fort. The narrative flows smoothly into the precision military music, drill and artillery focus of the ceremony, captivating the audience as gunfire bellows and the sky lights up with clouds of smoke over the sunset in view. As the Guard drums and drills are performed you can’t help but embrace the feeling that you have been transported to the 1860’s and are experiencing the Fort Henry Guard performing on command.
An appearance was made by the beloved David the Goat, the Guard mascot. As he interacted with would be recruits and made his way past the adoring audience. David X is the ninth Saanen goat donated to the Fort by the Saint David Society of Toronto, to commemorate the memory of the mascot of the 23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welch Fusiliers).
After the beautifully sung sounds of God Save the Queen and O Canada visitors were delighted to see a grand firework display over the fort wall with the St. Lawrence River as its backdrop. The sky lit up as the audience cheered, proving it to be one of the best set of fireworks displays of the year.
Be sure to visit Fort Henry Sunset Ceremony this summer to go back in time and celebrate this uniquely Kingston experience. For more information and tickets visit https://www.forthenry.com/events/sunset-ceremony/