Kathy Knoblock, pictured outside Port Townsend’s Rothschild House with her constant companion Baxter, is an organizer of this weekend’s Victorian Heritage Festival. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

Kathy Knoblock, pictured outside Port Townsend’s Rothschild House with her constant companion Baxter, is an organizer of this weekend’s Victorian Heritage Festival. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

Victorian Heritage Festival set for this weekend

Events billed as first celebration of season on Peninsula

PORT TOWNSEND — A free garden party, walking tours through Port Townsend’s history and presentations on Victorian elixirs, houses and boats: They’re all part of the revived Victorian Heritage Festival this Friday through Sunday.

Inspired by the Port Townsend Victorian Days events first held in 1996, this weekend’s activities are billed as “the first festival of the season” by Tracy Wirta, co-chair of the Port Townsend Heritage Association.

Wirta and her crew — alongside a number of partner businesses around town — have put together a 2022 Victorian Heritage Festival with a slate of indoor and outdoor events.

Plentiful information and tickets are available at www.porttownsendvictorianfestival.org, with online purchase open until 10 p.m. tonight.

Then things move to the Cotton Building, 607 Water St., where the festival headquarters will be open from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to about 7 p.m. Saturday; and from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

Through the weekend, the festival invites everyone to take part in a free activity called “Where’s Israel Katz?”

Many Uptown and downtown businesses are involved in this game, which is a bit like a Port Townsend “Where’s Waldo?”

The fate of Katz, who disappeared at age 67 in January 1917, is one of the town’s biggest mysteries, festival organizers say.

They have put together a search for him, with reported sightings, game sheets and stickers to collect in the participating businesses.

This quest is open to all, no ticket required, and promises prizes for those who complete their game sheets.

Here are other highlights from the festival schedule at www.porttownsendvictorianfestival.org.

Friday

• The Rothschild House Museum will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 418 Taylor St. Uptown;

• The Jefferson Museum of Art & History, 540 Water St., is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.;

• Hidden History downtown walking tour with Key City Public Theatre’s Bry Kifolo, 2 p.m., $15; reserve tickets at keycitypublictheatre.org/hiddenhistorytours. This 45-minute interactive walk starts at the Haller Fountain at Taylor and Washington streets, while more about the Hidden History interpretive panels can be found at pthistory.com;

• Uptown walking tour with Starrett House visit, 3 p.m., 744 Clay St., $20 for guests 13 and older, $10 for 12 and younger;

A free garden party at the Rothschild House will go from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with family games on the lawn and tours of the 153-year-old place at 418 Taylor St. Guests are encouraged to bring picnics like people did when the Rothschild House was being built in the late 1800s.

• Presentations on “Meeting James G. Swan” at 6:30 p.m., and “Exploring the Victorian Era Magic Lantern” at 8 p.m., American Legion Hall, 209 Monroe St.; $20 covers both for guests 13 and older. All presentations are free for children 12 and younger, but kids need tickets for head-count purposes.

• “A Shilling’s Worth of the Macabre” presentation at Manresa Castle’s “haunted ballroom,” 8 p.m.; $10 for guests 18 and older, https://www.thecastleinpt.com/events.

Saturday

• Presentations on “Remasting Schooner Martha,” “Tales of Two Houses” and “Port Townsend History,” 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., $30 for all; American Legion Hall;

• The Rothschild House Museum will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 418 Taylor St. Uptown;

The Jefferson Museum of Art & History, 540 Water St., is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.;

• Hidden History downtown walking tour, 2 p.m., $15 (see Friday);

• Community contra dance, 7 p.m.; $20 for guests 13 and older, American Legion.

Sunday

• Presentations on “Magical Elixirs and Tonics,” “Victorian Jewelry” and “Worthington Park Restoration,” American Legion Hall, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; all for $30 for guests 13 and older;

• The Jefferson Museum of Art & History, 540 Water St., open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.;

• McCurdy House open for tours at 405 Taylor St., 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; $10 for guests 13 and older, $5 for 12 and younger;

• Uptown walking tours starting from the Jefferson County Courthouse, 1820 Jefferson St., and from Chetzemoka Park’s main gate at Jackson and Blaine streets, both at 11 a.m.; $10 for guests 13 and older;

• Hidden History walking tour, 2 p.m., $15 (see Friday);

• A Victorian wine tasting at FairWinds Winery, 1984 Hastings Ave. West, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., $15, https://victorianwinedown.bpt.me.

________

Jefferson County Senior Reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]

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