The Fort Langley National Historic Site has trading cards that tell about the lives of people who used to live and work there. (Fort Langley NHS)

Stand on the shores of the Fraser River and greet Langley’s brigade

The annual Brigade Days features a special waterfront gathering on holiday Monday.

Only available at the Fort Langley National Historic Site during Brigade Days this long weekend – history trading cards.

Collect all the different kinds – the trapper, the trader, the washerwoman, and the Royal Engineer.

“Trading cards were introduced last year and will be available only during Brigade Days on site,” said Niki Carnahan, with the historic site. “We plan to have 20-plus different cards this year.”

Brigade Days run Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

“The trading cards are unique to our historic site,” Carnahan explained.

Before hunting for trading cards during those three days, the public is encouraged to sign up for the special sessions when people can fire a Brown Bess musket.

“We offer musket shootings everyday from 1 p.m. during the summer and have had several visitors each day getting hands on and shooting a historic musket,” Carnahan said. “We do not take reservations for the gun shootings, and all bookings must be made on site, so we recommend visitors to purchase a ticket at the visitor centre when they arrive, as spots are limited.”

Monday’s schedule includes the annual arrival of the fur brigade on the shores of the Fraser River.

At 12:30 p.m., the bagpipes start to signal the procession from the historic site to Marina Park a few blocks away.

That’s when everyone heads down to the waterfront to watch the arrival of the watercraft, the participants in period garb, and a Kwantlen welcome ceremony.

When the re-enactors are on dry land, the entire procession returns to the historic site, stopping at the James Douglas statue.

The arrive of the fur brigade is organized by the Fort Langley Canoe Club and the Bedford Rowing Society.

Brigade Days are a chance for the public to learn about Langley’s unique role in the history of B.C. and about all the fort has to offer.

It’s a popular event.

“In past years, we’ve had roughly around 2,500 to 3,000 guests over the three days,” she added.

Daily events Aug. 4, 5 and 6 include tours, songs and storytelling, historic weapons demonstrations, day-to-day activities from bygone days, and sessions on trapping techniques, and how the farm and garden were run in days of old.

Throughout the day people can watch coopering, blacksmithing, and baking demonstrations, visit the encampment, play games, and listen to music.

On Monday, there’s the brigade procession as well as a carving demonstration by artist Drew Atkins from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Admission is $7.80 for adults, $6.55 for seniors, and free for those 15 and younger.

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