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Nutcracker season off to a strong start

More than 1,000 visitors toured Historic Fort Steuben during the first two weekends

STEUBENVILLE — City leaders say more than 1,000 Nutcracker Village visitors took advantage of the opportunity to tour Historic Fort Steuben during the first two weekends it’s been open.

This is the first year organizers have opened the fort for guests during the winter, with docents on hand to tell the tale of the settlement of the Ohio frontier and the westward migration. Weather permitting, it will be open each Friday, Saturday and Sunday for nutcracker visitors to enjoy.

“We’re asking $1 per person,” Historic Fort Steuben Executive Director Judy Bratten said. “So many of the people who’ve gone through are from out of town, so they probably wouldn’t be back (another time). They’ve really enjoyed it.”

Bratten said visitors “all came out after (their tour) saying how much they appreciate modern conveniences.”

“I’m pleased with the response,” Bratten said, pointing out Nutcracker Village visitors always have made a point of “looking at our historical exhibits, arrowheads and Native American artifacts.”

Touring the fort adds to their enjoyment.

“This is an opportunity to get history mixed in with fun,” Bratten said.

Mayor Jerry Barilla, president of Historic Fort Steuben, said he was “very pleased with the turnout of visitors that wanted to go into the fort.”

“Many people from out-of-town are amazed at the fort being rebuilt (and) how it represented life over 200 years ago,” Barilla said. “It’s most exciting when visitors (go) into the fort at night” with the light filtering through cabin doors and windows and the paths lit by lanterns.

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