WEEKEND: Victorian Heritage Festival to don white gloves alongside grit starting today
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Victorian Festival organizers Nathan Barnett, left, and Cindy Madsen prepare posters for last year's event.
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Mari Mullen, left, Dawn Pierson and Richard Probst explore one of the “shanghai tunnels” below Port Townsend in preparation for the 2013 building tour, which is part of the Victorian Festival. Photo by Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News.

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

Full schedule of events
PORT TOWNSEND — The Victorian Heritage Festival plans events all over Port Townsend today through Sunday.
Although the Insider's Historic Building Tours and Victorian Teas are sold out, many other events are available.
Here is a schedule:
■ 2 p.m. — Uptown walking tour. Meet at the Rothschild House Museum at Franklin and Taylor streets.
Ticket price of $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 3 to 12 includes admission to the museum. Tours are free to members of the Jefferson County Historical Society.
Reservations are not required. To purchase advance tickets, phone 360-385-1003.
■ Noon to 4 p.m. — Commanding Officer's Quarters, Jefferson Museum of Art and History, Art Deco Lighting Museum and Rothschild House are open.
■ 7 p.m. — Victorian Pub Crawl start at the Hastings Building at Tyler and Water streets.
■ 10:30 a.m. — Parade down Water Street with horses in military drill.
■ 11 a.m. — Expo Hall opens at American Legion Hall, 209 Monroe St.
■ 11 a.m. — Downtown walking tour meeting at 540 Water St.; tickets $10 for adults, $5 for children.
■ 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. — “Naval Life In the Civil War” and “Music of the Civil War,” Legion Hall, general admission pass.
■ 10 a.m. to noon, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. — Steamboats at Point Hudson Marina; free.
■ 11:30 a.m. — Manliness in the Morning, Cotton Building, 607 Water St.; general admission pass.
■ 12:30 p.m. — Victorian bicycles, Cotton Building; general admission pass.
■ 12:30 p.m. — “Military Influence on Women's Fashion,” Cotton Building; general admission pass.
■ 1:30 p.m. — Forts of Port Townsend, Cotton Building; general admission pass.
■ 1:30 p.m. — Classical fencing demonstration, American Legion Hall; general admission pass.
■ 2:30 p.m. — “Intro to the Military Cutlass,” American Legion Hall, 209 Monroe St.
■ 2:30 p.m. — Victorian corsets, Cotton Building; general admission pass.
■ 3 p.m. — Uptown walking tour meeting at Taylor and Franklin streets; tickets $10 for adults, $5 for children.
■ 3:30 p.m. — Toot Sweet clarinet quartet performance, Cotton Building, general admission pass.
■ 3:30 p.m. — Gatling gun demonstration, Memorial Stadium, 550 Washington St.; general admission pass.
■ 4 p.m. — Fashion show, First Presbyterian Church, 1111 Franklin St.; admission by donation.
■ 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. — Victorian Ball, American Legion Hall; tickets $15. To purchase, visit www.victorianfestival.org.
■ 9 p.m. — Contra dance, American Legion Hall; suggested donation $5.
■ 10 a.m. to noon — Steamboats at Point Hudson Marina; free.
■ Noon — Downtown walking tour meeting at 540 Water St.; tickets $10 for adults, $5 for children.
For more information, visit www.victorianfestival.org.
Peninsula Daily News
NOTE: “Today” and “tonight” refer to Friday, March 21.

PORT TOWNSEND — Organizers of this weekend's Victorian Heritage Festival seek to maintain the white-gloved demeanor of years past while adding an element of grittiness that provides a more historically accurate representation of the age.

“The doilies and the pretty tea service is still part of the story, but Port Townsend had a rough-and-tumble aspect in Victorian days,” said Nathan Barnett, who, with his wife, Cindy Madsen, is organizing the three-day festival that begins today under the auspices of Olympic Peninsula Steam.

“This year, we are doing a pub crawl on Friday night which is not at all stuffy,” he added.

Tonight's Victorian Pub Crawl will feature saloons, “shanghai tunnels” and fine vintage cocktails through “a staggering selection of Port Townsend's (in)famous watering holes.”

The evening will begin with a chantey sing at 7 p.m. in the Hastings Building on the corner of Water and Taylor streets, followed by a self-guided tour of four local drinking establishments: The Belmont, Alchemy Bistro, Silverwater Cafe and the Cellar Door.


Tickets for the entire festival are $15 and include access to presentations, demonstrations, lectures and the exhibition hall.

Admission to the Victorian Ball on Saturday night is $15, and the suggested donation for the contra dance, also Saturday night, is $5, with all tickets available online or at the will-call window at the American Legion Hall.

“Insider” tours of downtown and uptown buildings Sunday are sold out, while tickets for the standard tours — uptown today and Saturday, downtown Saturday and Sunday — are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 3 to 12 and free to members of the Jefferson County Historical Society.

All of the Victorian Teas planned Saturday and Sunday are sold out.

This is the second year Barnett and Madsen have managed the 17-year-old event, aiming at attracting a younger group by having more diverse offerings.

Barnett characterized the 2013 edition as a qualified success.

This year will be better because more people have signed on, he said.

“Last year, it felt like Cindy and I were doing it all ourselves,” Barnett said.

“This year, we have a lot more volunteers and partners, like the Main Street program, that are taking a bigger role in putting on the festival.”

While this is intended mostly as a fun event, Barnett hopes to “sneak in a little bit of history” so participants learn something along the way.

Military theme

This year's festival has a military theme, with an examination of the local forts and the role of the armed forces in the region.

Several military-oriented activities are planned Saturday.

They include a parade of horses in military drill, presentations on the military influence on women's fashions, the forts of Port Townsend and naval life in the Civil War, including the music of the era, as well as a classical fencing demonstration, a military cutlass class and a demonstration of a replica of an 1862 black powder Gatling gun.

On Saturday night, the Victorian Ball, considered to be the festival's signature event, will provide an opportunity for all to don their elegant Victorian attire and dance to live music by Broken Dreams.

Participants can show off their costuming, dance quadrilles, polkas and even a waltz — which at the time was designated as scandalous — from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the American Legion Hall.

Food and drinks

Slices of cakes, tortes and other desserts created by Port Townsend bakers will be available for sale. Nonalcoholic beverages will be included in the admission price.

The first two hours of the event will feature waltz music before segueing into the favored activity for the “simple folk,” contra dancing, with callers Judy Rudolf for the Ball and Jeanie Murphy.

Steamboats from the Northwest Steam Society will be at the Point Hudson Marina on Saturday and Sunday.

A show of Victorian fashions takes place at 4 p.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church, 1111 Franklin St., with donations supporting the Jefferson County Historical Society Scholarship Fund.


Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 20. 2014 7:48PM
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