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Blacksmith demonstration May 18 at Fort Mandan

Posted on 5/17/2013

On Saturday, May 18, visitors to Fort Mandan will have the opportunity to attend a series of special programs, including a live blacksmithing demonstration. The presentations will cover several topics related to iron goods, including their introduction into Native Tribes on the continent and in the region, their manufacture by skilled blacksmiths and their use in one influential form during the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

At noon, guest blacksmith Dick Parrish will give a 30-minute talk about the introduction of the White man's Iron Age into Native culture titled, "Blacksmithing and the Native American." Afterward, Parrish will provide a live blacksmithing demonstration at 1 p.m.  The day's special programs will wrap up at 2 p.m. with "Wa-Bam: The Guns of Lewis & Clark," which includes a demonstration of a flintlock rifle like the ones carried by the Expedition.

"The special programs we're offering this weekend are just another way we strive to tell the captivating story of Lewis, Clark and the Corps of Discovery," said Jeff Carlson, interpretive program coordinator at Fort Mandan.

Interpretive programs are offered daily at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. When combined with the Interpretive Center's new exhibits and a tour of Fort Mandan, they provide visitors a unique opportunity to learn more about North Dakota's unique sense of place.

"It's all about helping people better understand the rich history of our state," Carlson said.

Programs are included with regular site admission. Admission is $7.50 for adults, $5 for students and free for Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation members.

Fort Mandan and the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Both facilities are located in Washburn, 38 miles north of Bismarck on Hwy 83.

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