As the city of Fort Smith prepares for its bicentennial celebration, everyone is invited to stroll through the history of the military encampment that gave birth to the city. The “Friends of the Fort” will present a Candlelight Stroll Through History on Saturday, April 8, at the Fort Smith National Historic Site.

Guests will meet historic characters who knew Fort Smith when it was only a beautiful landing on a lonely river, and those who saw it during war and times of growth. Re-enactors will present the stories of a Rifle Regiment soldier who was one of the first men to call this area Fort Smith, as well as the Army captain in charge of constructing the actual fort.

You will hear stories of a young girl who knew the fort for its place in society, and has stories to tell of elegant events and heroic officers. Tales of both Union and Confederate soldiers resound across the parade ground, and a long-ago Indian Agent explains why this piece of land is important in the history of Native Americans. Take the final steps with us as we enter the time when the fort became a Federal Court and Judge Parker and William H.H. Clayton became famous in their fight to bring peace to the Indian Territory.

The walking tour begins at 6:30 p.m., and guests will be treated to period music provided by John Spain and Marion Laird, an exhibit of 1800 quilting skills, and they will have the opportunity to speak to historic characters visiting the Historic Site grounds for this special evening.

Take a one-hour tour of the Fort Smith National Historic Site during the Candlelight Tour through the history of Fort Smith. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for those age from 12 to 16, and free for anyone 11 years of age and younger.