It may be the season of pumpkin patches and changing leaves but people should think ahead to a different season if they want a place at the table for the annual Historical Christmas Dinner at Fort Robinson State Park. Tickets for the popular event, which are known to sell in a hurry, will become available at 8 a.m. Monday, Nov. 2. The dinner will be Saturday, Dec. 5.
This year’s menu replicates the bill of fare from the Fort’s dinner in 1891. That year is special because the park this spring celebrated the completion of a new lodging duplex designed to replicate a series of officers’ quarters at the fort that were originally constructed in 1891 but demolished decades ago.
The feast features a menu of two dozen items headlined by roasted pork, roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. Attendees, who are encouraged but not required to dress in attire from the designated period, will be entertained by live music and historical commentary.
The meal will be served 15 minutes after doors open at 6 p.m. Complementing the event’s festive atmosphere will be the park’s holiday lights which will be turned on just prior to the dinner and stay lit each evening until Jan. 1, 2015.
This marks the 21st year of the dinner, which has a limit of 200 attendees. Tickets may be purchased at the park’s headquarters, the Chadron Visitors Center at 706 West Third St., or Rea’s Market at 195 Main Street in Harrison. Because of the high demand, there is a limit of four tickets per household.
The Christmas dinner is a cooperative project of various entities, including Fort Robinson State Park, the Nebraska Historical Society, and the communities of Crawford, Chadron, Harrison and Whitney.
Anyone interested in volunteering to help with the Christmas dinner or sponsoring decorations for one of the historical buildings may contact the Fort Robinson State Park office at 308-665-2900.