Forest City Stockade celebrated its 24th annual Pioneer Christmas Saturday.

The event drew a crowd who wanted to experience Christmas during the mid-1800s, about the time the original stockade was built at the beginning of the U.S.-Dakota War in 1862. Today’s Forest City Stockade Pioneer Christmas takes place near its original site on land that was purchased by Carl Jensen.

The occasion is for remembering the pioneers and the hardships they faced while settling in the land, along with the conflict that shaped the region.

Jill and Richard Kelly, along with their daughters, Raechel and Noah, have helped with a hotdog stand for about six years at the stockade.

“We started out coming here, and … we found out that some friends of ours used to (sell) lemonade,” Jill said. “About three years ago, they asked us to help out and then it became the hotdog.”

At their stand, they sell old-fashioned hotdogs, lemonade, chocolate chip cookies and root beer.

People should never forget history because they can learn and avoid making the same mistakes, Jill said.

“We don’t want to have the same problems that we had in times past,” she said. “I think people enjoy the nostalgia of the olden days, and we don’t get a lot of that in our modern everyday cellular life. So I think you’re stepping back in time, and I think people enjoy that.”

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