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(Neb)-Fort Rob Christmas Dinner To Serve 1878 Menu

By: John Axtell Posted at: 10/28/2019 10:54 AM
FORT ROBINSON S.P. - Tickets go on sale a week from today on Monday, Nov 4, for the 24th annual Christmas dinner at Fort Robinson State Park, coming up December 7th.

      The dinner always uses a menu served at Christmas sometime during the park's history as an active military post, which ran from 1874 to 1946.

      Chosen this year was 1878 with turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, pork loin, asparagus, sweet potatoes, rolls and "all the fixings."

     Only 200 tickets will be sold and at just 4 locations: the Fort Robinson office, D&S Market in Harrison, and the Chadron Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center.

       Sales begin next Monday at 8:00 and tickets generally sell out within an hour - often within half an hour. Tickets this year are $30 and because of high demand, there is a limit of four tickets per household.

       The year selected for this year's menu, 1878, was one of the most memorable in the post's history. It was the year the name changed from Camp Robinson to Fort Robinson and the year that members of the Cheyenne tribe secretly left their reservation in Oklahoma in an attempt to flee to their traditional homelands in Montana.

     149 members of Dull Knife's band were captured and taken to Fort Robinson in October and held in its old cavalry barracks. A few weeks after Christmas, they escaped from the fort in what became known as the Cheyenne Outbreak.

      All of the escapees were either killed or recaptured when attempting to flee the harsh conditions of their confinement. Some made it as far as 35 miles away before soldiers caught up with them.

    The barracks where the Cheyennes were held captive have been recreated at Fort Robinson, and a monument commemorating the incident was installed below the Cheyenne Buttes on land owned by Chief Dull Knife College just west of the park in 2016.

    In conjunction with the Christmas Dinner, Fort Robinson is also again looking for businesses, groups, and individuals interested in placing Christmas lights on a number of the park buildings. The lights will go on for the first time the night of the dinner and will be lit each evening through New Year's Eve.

      Those interested in decorating one or more buildings can contact the Fort Robinson office by phone at 308-665-2900 or online at ngpc.fort.robinson@nebraska.gov.


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