To mark the 20th anniversary from the opening of Fort Rinella as a museum and cultural heritage attraction, Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna organised a three-day Military Festival. This took place between the 21st to the 23rd of October 2011.
The event included a large number of displays depicting 19th century British cavalry at work and play, period battle field exercises and formation drill and military sports. There was also horse trick riding display in which the riders performed various manoeuvres and stunts while riding their charger at great speeds.
Three UK re-enactment groups participated in this event. The festival was held in the newly built display arena in the grounds of the Fort. In all three main displays were given; one for school children on Friday, one aimed at tour operators on Saturday and a final one meant for the general public who's highlight was the firing of the Armstrong 100-ton gun.
Fort Rinella is one of a series of four coastal batteries built by the British in Malta and in Gibraltar between the years 1878 and 1886. The purpose for building these forts was for each of them to house an Armstrong 100-ton gun. The building of these forts was necessitated by Britain’s fear of loosing her naval superiority in the Mediterranean to Italy, which was at the time rebuilding her navy to an unprecedented strength.
Since 1991, Fort Rinella has been undergoing restoration by volunteers from Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna – Malta Heritage Foundation. The aim behind this initiative is that of preserving this important historic fort for posterity and to turn it into a live museum where aspects of its history are brought back to life for the enjoyment and better appreciation of the public.