Hudson’s Bay Heritage Days: Not Your Forefather’s Festival

From 1833 to 1870, the Hudson’s Bay Company operated a trading post in the DuPont area. Fort Nisqually, which was originally located right across from City Hall in DuPont, became the very first Euro-American settlement on the Puget Sound. Today, that history is celebrated with an annual event of epic proportions (and of epic portions): The Hudson’s Bay Heritage Days, a weekend-long festival full of fun and food.

Hudson’s Bay Heritage Days showcases what life would be like in the 19th century. With family-friendly demonstrations, interpretations, and reenactments from the DuPont Historical Society, as well as tours of the original Fort Nisqually site, visitors will feel as though they’ve been transported back in time. This year, there also will be a Classical Glass Corvette Club Car Show, showcasing a more recent chapter in history.

The event has experienced substantial growth in recent years. We suspect this is at in part to the addition of the American Legion Kansas City Sanctioned BBQ Cookoff, which was added three years ago. More than 30 BBQ vendors will compete for nearly $13,000 in prize money in this year’s competition. For a perfect pairing, the Chili Appreciation Society International Chili Cookoff will be happening simultaneously. Judges will award cash and trophies, but you’ll be the real winner, as you get to sample all the delicious dishes entered into the contest. After you’re full of BBQ and chili, head over to the beer and distillery garden for a locally crafted beverage and to enjoy some live music on the main stage.

The event will take place on Aug. 17 and 18 at Clocktower Park, 1400 Palisade Blvd., DuPont. The full weekend schedule is as follows:

Saturday, Aug. 17

  • 7 a.m.–2 p.m.: Classic Car Show
  • 11 a.m.–6:30 p.m.: Beer and Spirits Garden open
  • 11:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.: Children’s activities throughout park
  • Noon–3:30 p.m.: Live concert with Bud Lily’s “Undecided”
  • Noon–4 p.m.: BBQ & chili sampling
  • 3:30–4:30 p.m.: Cars judged, People’s Choice Awards, silent auction, and raffle
  • 3:30 p.m.: Awards for Chili Competition announced
  • 4:30–5:30 p.m.: Bud Lily’s “Undecided” returns for encore performance

Sunday, Aug. 18

  • 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.: Live Concert with international performer Tony LaStella
  • 11:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.: Children’s activities throughout park
  • 11:30 a.m.–5 p.m.: Beer and Spirits Garden open
  • Noon–4 p.m.: Historical Society re-enactments, demonstrations, and children’s crafts
  • 12:30–4 p.m.: BBQ sampling
  •  4–4:30 p.m.: BBQ awards announced

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