• Photo by Alexandra Cannon/Groesbeck Journal
    Michael Roegner has participated in Christmas at the Fort for 17 years, showing and explaining to attendees how arrowheads are made and imparting knowledge about various types of rocks, tools and conditions allow very different shapes to be created.
  • Photo by Alexandra Cannon/Groesbeck Journal
    Using a deer antler, volunteer Michael Roegner showed his expertise in rocks and how they can be shaped using techniques and tools that go back hundreds and even thousands of years.
  • Photo by Alexandra Cannon/Groesbeck Journal
    “Mouth of the South” Black Jack Daniels (left) mouthed off to the wrong man on Sunday, December 10 and found himself in a standoff and gun draw against Rooster Fargo (right) at Old Fort Parker.
  • Photo by Alexandra Cannon/Groesbeck Journal
    Black Jack Daniels (pictured) was quick on the draw and fired at his opponent when a shootout took place at Old Fort Parker on December 10, but Rooster Fargo was quicker and hit his mark, causing Daniels to fall to the ground in anguish while many in attendance for Christmas at the Fort looked on. (This was a re-enactment of sorts and no one was actually harmed)
  • Photo by Alexandra Cannon/Groesbeck Journal
    Black Jack Daniels (pictured) was quick on the draw and fired at his opponent when a shootout took place at Old Fort Parker on December 10, but Rooster Fargo was quicker and hit his mark, causing Daniels to fall to the ground in anguish while many in attendance for Christmas at the Fort looked on. (This was a re-enactment of sorts and no one was actually harmed)
  • Photo by Alexandra Cannon/Groesbeck Journal
    Rooster Fargo laughs unapologetically as he approaches his fallen opponent, Black Jack Daniels, at Old Fort Parker.
  • Photo by Alexandra Cannon/Groesbeck Journal
    Mike Call explains the intricacies of creating fabric with a foot operated loom to other volunteers on site for Christmas at the Fort, December 7-10.
  • Photo by Alexandra Cannon/Groesbeck Journal
    Groesbeck local Bob Zeman poses with Santa on December 10 at Christmas at the Fort, hoping to sweet talk Santa into making his wish come true- more garage sales in the area for the coming year.
  • Photo by Alexandra Cannon/Groesbeck Journal
    Several vendors travelled from across the state and various parts of the country to set up shop outside the fort December 7-10, where they sold handmade goods such as furs, wooden toys, jewelry, ceramic creations, old fashioned candy, knives, clothing and much more for the Christmas at the Fort event..
  • Photo by Alexandra Cannon/Groesbeck Journal
    Kenneth Lookingglass (right) and Jimmy Lookingglass (left) play inner tribal war dance songs, drawing on their Comanche and Apache roots for the annual Christmas at the Fort Celebration, both living descendants of Quanah Parker.
  • Photo by Alexandra Cannon/Groesbeck Journal
    Young Robert Brady was mesmerized by the drumming and singing of Kenneth and Jimmy Lookingglass for Christmas at the Fort, while his mother Nina Brady captured the experience on her phone and father Dustin Brady gazed in admiration alongside him.
  • Photo by Alexandra Cannon/Groesbeck Journal
    Nina Brady joins her young son Robert Brady in beating along to the inner tribal war dance songs played by Comanche and Apache American Indians Kenneth and Jimmy Lookingglass at Christmas at the Fort, December 10.

Christmas at the Fort 2017 Goes Out with a Bang!

By Alexandra Cannon, Staff Writer

Old Fort Parker’s annual Christmas at the Fort was quite successful, despite a blustering cold start to the four day event. Beginning Thursday, December 7 and ending on Sunday, December 10, an exact number of attendees has not yet been named, but nearly 3,000 students from 21 schools visited the historic site on Thursday and Friday to learn about the history of the Fort as well as skills used to in daily life in the Fort’s prime. Saturday and Sunday, the event was open to people of all ages, and the worst of the weather had passed, allowing an enjoyable, educational experience for the whole family!

“The weather dampened the turnout, but everyone who came had a great time,” said Sarah McReynolds, one of two employees who work to keep Old Fort Parker running.

Christmas at the Fort is the biggest event held at Old Fort Parker every year, and volunteers come from all over the state to help see it through. Inside the fort, one can find learn about all types of skills required to survive in the mid to late 1800s, including blacksmithing, weaving, farming, and more, taught by people who use these older methods as a hobby or profession. This year was arrowhead aficionado Michael Roegner’s 17th year participating, and several other volunteers have been participating 10 years or more.

Volunteer Mike Call taught passersby how to use a foot operated loom, used to create fabric for clothes and cloth. He explained that even today, looms are still used to make fabric but are mechanized and powered by gas. Call drew many kids and adults over to the bench to sit down and try it for themselves, and the length of fabric created was coming out surprisingly smooth and tight.

“The thing I like about the loom is all the work on the loom is done before you ever pick this up,” Call said, waving the bobbin in his hand. “The twill of your blue jeans is decided by how they put the thread in here, and that's how the pattern is created.”

Outside the fort, vendors paid the Fort a fee to set up shop and sell various items, many of which were handmade or gained through trading. Available for purchase were things like animal skulls and fur, hand crafted jewelry, clothing, purses, wooden toys, ceramic mugs and pipes, old fashioned candy, knives, and much more.

To read more of this story, pick up a copy of Thursday's edition of The Groesbeck Journal! You can also subscribe online or call 254-729-5103.

Groesbeck Journal

P.O. Box 440
Groesbeck, TX 76642
Phone: 254-729-5103
Fax: 254-729-0362