THING expected to draw thousands to Port Townsend

Businesses appreciate boost to tourism

PORT TOWNSEND — Thousands are expected to flock to Fort Worden for the music and arts festival THING, which locals anticipate will boost business.

“The THING Festival has been great for Port Townsend’s accommodations bookings, and will undoubtedly bring lots of business to dining spots over the weekend,” said Mari Mullen, executive director of the Port Townsend Main Street, on Tuesday.

The festival, set from Friday through Sunday, has in the past drawn some 5,000 people per day to Fort Worden.

It “has been the impetus for the new Soundcheck event (ptsoundcheck.com) to welcome THING guests who come to explore Port Townsend early this week,” Mullen said, adding that Seattle Theatre Group (STG) — which along with Adam Zacks, who is known for his work producing Sasquatch! Music Festival — has been promoting things to do and see in Port Townsend.

Tickets

Tickets are pricey, ranging from $129.50 for a day pass to $349.50 for a full festival pass for adults and teens, although children 12 and younger will be admitted free.

Those who buy a three-day pass with on-site parking, seating in a reserved section at the main stages, access to a private bar with free soft drinks and concierge service will pay $825.

They are available at thingnw.org, stgpresents.org and ticketmaster.com; in-person purchase will be available through Fort Worden Hospitality at the fort’s Commons, 210 Battery Way, in the center of the campus. Three-day passes and single-day tickets will be available along with parking and camping reservations.

That will open the doors to performances by such artists as Jerrod Carmichael, whose comedy special Rothaniel is streaming now on HBO; Seattle’s Reignwolf; a unique presentation titled “Deconstructing the Beatles Revolver,” by Scott Freiman; and a special conversation led by music journalist and author Marcus J. Moore interviewing Jazz is Dead — a record label created by Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest).

These acts join a robust schedule featuring Jungle, Modest Mouse, Father John Misty, Goose, Sparks, Freddie Gibbs, José González, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Seattle-based performers from STG’s Education & Community Engagement Programs, and much more.

“It continues to be an honor to present a slate of extraordinary talent, rich with new discoveries, in the magnificent setting of Fort Worden,” Zacks said.

“We aspire to offer something fresh to the festival landscape and create an environment where all are welcomed and represented.”

Also planned are presentations by tribal storytellers Elaine Grinnell of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and Delbert Miller of the Skokomish Tribe in partnership with SAMA: Seattle Sacred Music & Art; and the Future is 0, a live game show where artist-contestants compete in an array of mental, physical and psychological challenges.

Not all paid admission

But not everything will require paid admission.

Fort Worden is a public park and several outdoor THING activities — the food trucks, vendor market and Luminarium — will be accessible to the public without a festival wristband.

Some of the family-friendly activities include paper-lantern making, collaborative painting sessions, and Architects of Air’s luminarium — a maze with saturated color and a sensory soundscape.

Market vendors will include Thunderpants USA, Hellner Arts, Lichenology, 3sevens Pottery, The Port Townsend Record Show, Dynamo Dye Company, Lazy Eye Supply/Local Knits, Raising the Bar (barware sets), Claire Mack Fine Arts, Joy Winfrey’s Felted Wool, Port Townsend School of Massage, Wurm Wares, Wheat Stalk Boutique, Camp N Car, Sumac El Sol Handcrafted Textile Arts, Big Saw Productions, Sativa Valley, Artist Mike Biskup, HEARTH (pottery), PNW Axe Throwing Company, B. Fuller’s Mortar and Pestle, Gianna Andrews Art, Max.1nk (pop surreal art).

In addition to hosting THING, Fort Worden State Park provides miles of beaches and hiking trails to explore. Festival attendees can come and go to check out the Victorian seaport of Port Townsend, festival promoters said.

On the evenings of Friday and Saturday, local law enforcement agencies from Clallam and Jefferson counties will engage in a DUI traffic safety emphasis patrol in the Port Townsend area during THING, according to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.

The State Patrol’s Mobile Impaired Driving Unit will be present to assist with impaired driver processing, according to a press release.

“Market vendors will include cannabis products,” the release said. “Large attendance is anticipated, which will increase pedestrian and vehicle traffic.”

To view the full lineup and schedule, see thingnw.org.

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