Friends from Seattle, from left, Peter Cher, Jung Jim and Jin Lim dress the part for a photo-op as they prepare to sign the Declaration of Independence at the 2017 Northwest Colonial Festival. Visitors also can dress in colonial clothes at this year’s event this weekend. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Friends from Seattle, from left, Peter Cher, Jung Jim and Jin Lim dress the part for a photo-op as they prepare to sign the Declaration of Independence at the 2017 Northwest Colonial Festival. Visitors also can dress in colonial clothes at this year’s event this weekend. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Actors to recreate colonial times, start of Revolutionary War at festival

SEQUIM — The Northwest Colonial Festival returns for its fourth year beginning Thursday and continuing through Sunday.

Volunteers show what life was like in colonial times and reenact the events of April 19, 1775, when the American Revolutionary War began.

Set around the George Washington Inn and Washington Lavender Farm at 939 Finn Hall Road just west of Sequim, dozens of re-enactors will portray historical figures such as George and Martha Washington and British redcoats.

Tickets are $15 per adult with discounts for active duty military and their spouses, seniors, teens and children. Children 2 and younger will be admitted free.

Each ticket is good for the whole weekend with the event running daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

Tickets and more information are available atcolonialfestival.wordpress.com/press.

Two of the daily highlights include the “Skirmish on Lexington Green” at 10:30 a.m. and the “Battle for Concord Bridge” at 2:30 p.m.

Janet Abbott, event co-organizer and co-owner of the inn, said the battles are just one part of many educational and fun offerings, including the Colonial Village.

“The village has so many opportunities to learn our nation’s history,” she said.

Throughout the event, visitors can see period-appropriate colonial dancing, listen in on historical discussions, see sword fights, hear the Columbia Fife & Drum Corps and participate in traditional teas daily at 1:30 p.m. (individual tickets for this event cost $37 and are available through www.colonialfestival.com).

Jane Ritchey, event co-organizer and Martha Washington actor, said the event overall has grown in its four years with more than 60 re-enactors expected for the long weekend.

“It’s promising to offer all kinds of skills and demos to people to learn about colonial times,” she said.

Ritchey said organizers hope for more than 3,000 visitors this year.

Organizers said volunteers have promoted the event more this year through parades, special appearances from re-enactors and advertising in various publications.

Vern Frykholm, who portrays George Washington at the event, said the hope is to reach markets along Interstate 5 and beyond.

Historical presentations and patriotic displays will once again be provided by the Washington State Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) near the inn along with the DAR organizing the Boston Children’s Village with clothes to wear and become colonists, period-appropriate games to play and Betsy Ross’s house to experience.

Military and Revolutionary War historian Jeff Dacus will return to narrate battles and speak about the events leading to them.

Frykholm said there’s a strong slate of speakers in between battles, including Dacus and other historians.

He said one highlight for him is that Gove and Veronnica Allen of Utah will return with their replica of Isaiah Thomas’ printing operations. The couple help run the Colonial Heritage Festival each year that brings in more than 40,000 people to Orem, Utah.

“The fact that they come for our event is a testament to what we’re doing here,” Frykholm said.

The Northwest Colonial Festival will feature food from Jeremiah’s BBQ, Aloha Smoothies and the farm’s snack shop with lavender lemonade and ice cream.

The program can be downloaded from the website or picked up at the event.

More information can also be found at facebook.com/colonialfestival.

________

Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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