Christmas at Old Fort Wayne is a celebration of Hoosier heritage and a wonderful time to get a little fresh air with a taste of the past mixed in.
That past, believe it or not, includes a heavy French influence. French-speaking residents were living on the banks of the Three Rivers in and around Fort Wayne before the area became a part of the United States in the early 1800s. The French presence officially ended in 1760 when they were forced out by the British toward the end of the French and Indian War, but they still played an important part in helping to found the city of Fort Wayne.
To celebrate and help educate the masses, the good folks at the Old Fort have organized Joyeux Noel, showcasing the upcoming Christmas season and traditional French New Year festivities. Simply translated as “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,” Joyeux Noel takes place Nov. 24 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Old Fort, located at 1201 Spy Run Avenue.
In addition to the chance to watch reenactments of the times by actors in traditional period clothing, this is your chance to do a little Christmas shopping frontier style as artisans will present hand crafted gift ideas and the Bakers of the Old Fort will have goodies available for sale. Also, there will be children’s activities to keep the young ones interested and working demonstrations of French traditional cooking for all to enjoy. Admission is free.