Fort Vancouver National Historic Site will be open with extended hours on July 4, heading into the annual Independence Day fireworks display.
However, because of the fireworks show, visitors will not be permitted to drive into the historic site or park in Fort Vancouver on July 4.
The park facilities include the Visitor Center, 1501 E. Evergreen Blvd.; the reconstructed Fort Vancouver, 1001 E. Fifth St.; and Pearson Air Museum, 1115 E. Fifth St. They will be open to pedestrian access after visitors enter through one of the three bag-check gates, which will open at 8 a.m.
Fort Vancouver and Pearson Air Museum will operate from noon to 8 p.m.; the park’s Visitor Center and bookstore will operate from noon to 5 p.m.
The sites give people who show up early for the 10:05 p.m. fireworks “more venues to visit,” Bob Cromwell, Fort Vancouver’s chief of interpretation, said.
Tuesday’s fireworks show, produced by the Fort Vancouver National Trust, is free this year. The event is officially known as Independence Day at Fort Vancouver presented by Bank of America.
The usual fees will apply to enter the fort: $5 for adults; free for children 15 and under. There is no fee to enter the Visitor Center or Pearson Air Museum.
National Park Service staff and living-history volunteers will be dressed in period costumes throughout the reconstructed fort to represent the 19th-century fur trade.
There also will be military re-enactors outside the fort. They will represent some of the soldiers stationed at the Army post over the years, including GIs from the 1930s and Civil War infantry who will demonstrate black-powder weapons.
The Visitor Center and Pearson Air Museum will have exhibits and films available for viewing, as well.
The nonprofit Friends of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site will operate the bookstore at the park’s Visitor Center from noon to 5 p.m., and they will also operate a sales tent area on East Fifth Street, adjacent to the main entry path to the fort, from noon to 8 p.m.
Visitors will have an opportunity to purchase a flight in a vintage 1930 biplane operated by Nostalgic Warbird & Biplane Rides. For information on the biplane rides, go to http://nostalgicwarbirdrides.com or call 512-203-2341.