Elizabeth Casselli, the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center Director, exclaims, "we are celebrating the month Lewis and Clark were in this area some 200 years ago". Eleven-year-old Ivy Johnson from California vacations in Great Falls every summer. She says, "it's really cool because it's an awesome part of history and it happened in Great Falls".
This weekend its the 24th annual Lewis and Clark Festival. There's so much going on from speakers, guided nature walks, to an authentic encampment. Ivy says, "it's cool because of all the costumes and old tools. It shows how humanity has evolved".
The encampment transports visitors back in time through hands-on exhibits. Casselli says, "it makes it more alive and more real; bringing history alive in a way".
The Lewis and Clark Honor Guard takes you inside a world of ancient weaponry where you could make your very own cartridge out of candy or try the cuisine. Ivy was surprised to learn that elk tastes really good! You also learn what it takes to get the food you need to cook. One new thing Ivy learned was how people fished 200 years ago.
The way of life during the Lewis & Clark Expedition may seem strange and nearly impossible, but modern life would probably be pretty strange by their standards as well. Ivy points out, "it would be interesting if you had to fish like that, but of course they would think it's normal because it's the only way they knew how to fish".
It's important to learn about our local history. Casselli says, "being connected with your history gives you a sense of who you are". Ivy adds, "without learning their history, you can't move on".
As much fun as these events are to attend, they're also a lot of fun to put on! The Lewis and Clark Honor Guard are in need of more volunteers to help bring history to life. To learn more about how you can get involved, contact the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.