Summer Nights: Fort Henry’s Sunset Ceremony

I’ve heard high tales of Fort Henry’s Wednesday night tradition from friends and family and I finally experienced it myself. It did not disappoint. I share why it’s a must-see.


As cheesy as this may be to admit, nobody loves a sunset they way I love a sunset. When my friends witness a good sunset they usually text or snapchat me a photo. So it seemed very fitting when I was invited to see Fort Henry’s sunset ceremony.

As you can imagine, it’s about much more than just the sunset. It is a dynamic history lesson through the rituals of military units stationed at Fort Henry and the Canadian Forces – a tribute to the original garrison.

Besides the stunning view of the sun setting turning balcony onlookers into silhouettes, a voiceover shares details of the Fort Henry Guard Drums, Drills Squad and Artillery Detachment of the 1860s while uniformed soldiers move perfectly in sync. The precision is mesmerizing and impressive.

I am enlightened with each segment to learn facts like how the rifle exercise was a formalized exercise the soldiers used to stay in line and keep their minds sharp. Or how the bagpipes heated the blood of the British soldier so the Queen gave her commands that the pipers must always lead.

The show is a perfect mixture of history, entertainment, music, technology and natural beauty. If I am not whispering to my husband about how amazing the precision and detail are, I am pointing to the digital display or gasping at the sharp sounds of the rifles and canons – all of this while taking in the stunning orange pink hues of the sky as the sun sets.

I can’t compare this experience to anything else. It’s the perfect tourist attraction– note, you don’t have to be a tourist to appreciate its greatness — with something for everyone in the family. The performers brought all of the kids up before they got the show started and taught them how to salute. Nice touch.

I am not only a sucker for a sunset but I love pageantry and history too which makes me really appreciate this well-executed show. To top it off, the finale is an explosion of stunning fireworks that initiate “Ooohs and ahhhs” from the crowd. Not a bad way to spend a summer night in the limestone city.

To learn more about the sunset ceremony that take place on Wednesdays until August 31, visit Fort Henry’s website.

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