AGNEW — History is being remade — or, more specifically, re-enacted — so visitors to the George Washington Inn this weekend can get a taste of two watershed events of 1775.
For the second year, the Northwest Colonial Festival is returning to the inn and lavender farm at 939 Finn Hall Road. The four-day festival, which began Thursday, continues through Sunday. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.
Each day of the festival centers around the Skirmish at Lexington Green, re-enacted at 11:30 a.m., and the Battle for Concord Bridge, seen at 2 p.m., which are credited with launching the Revolutionary War.
Paul Revere, played by Clinton Crouch, rides onto the grounds every day at 10:30 a.m., re-enacting the Midnight Ride.
Tickets are good for the entire four days. They cost $10 per adult, with children 12 and younger admitted free. Family tickets are $25. Active-duty military tickets are $8 with valid military ID.
Tickets can be purchased online at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-colonialfesttickets, with an early purchase discount of $2 off adult tickets and $5 off family tickets.
Director Dan Wilbanks, a school principal and amateur historian from Roseburg, Ore., said the event has grown significantly in its second year.
“It’s coming off the wall,” he said. “We have almost 60 re-enactors, compared to about 25 last year.”
As an added effect, blue forget-me-nots have bloomed under the full-sized replica of the Concord Bridge to represent water.
Wilbanks said the grounds are split into the battleground and a rustic colonial village where artisans, a militia camp and a British military camp are set up for visitors to see from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A small tomahawk range has been set up, too.
Along with several participating groups, including the Second Connecticut Regiment of Militia and the Northwest Colonial Reenactors Association, Wilbanks said, the Daughters and Sons of the American Revolution groups will have booths at the festival.
Organizers also added hay bale theaters facing the water and mountains. In five sessions, portrayers and re-enactors will talk about an array of topics such as clothing, weapons and historical figures of the period.
The History Bits will be presented at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 3 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.
Daily tea times return, too, with seating limited to 32. Tea includes a full three-tiered service of period-inspired scones, sandwiches, fruit and desserts along with the inn’s signature tea.
An RSVP is requested through the festival’s website, and it is an additional cost for entry.
Sequim’s Vern Frykholm returns this year to portray George Washington along with Greg Hardy as Ben Franklin and Jack Paul as John Adams.
Frykholm said three types of people participate in events such as these: those who do it for fun and dress up not-too-accurately, re-enactors who have everything historically correct and portrayers like him who have read a lot on the persons they portray.
Frykholm said he’s read more than 50 books and 100 articles on Washington to be as accurate as possible.
“When you’re representing the father of your country, you can’t put your own bias into it,” he said.
“There are things back then we all curl our toes at that aren’t politically correct. My goal is to be historically correct to the way it was 250 years ago and allow people to learn from history.”
Last year’s inaugural event coincided with Sequim Lavender Weekend over five days, but this year’s event was condensed to four days for logistical reasons, organizers said.
“It’s a little hard to get re-enactors for five days,” Wilbanks said.
Plus, he and other volunteers wanted to give the festival its own weekend.
“This way, people are just coming over for it,” Wilbanks said. “We were competing with the resources of the lavender farms. This weekend is the [Colonial Festival’s] weekend.”
Frykholm said their focus this year is to build the presentation, hence why they’ve added so much.
“Last year, we got a great reception,” he said. “I think people are just going to be tickled. There’s nothing like this on the West Coast.”
Wilbanks said he knows of several 19th-century re-enactments, such as for the Civil War, but not for the 18th century west of the Mississippi River.
“There seems to be a resurgence for information about where we came from as Americans and how we developed as a nation,” he said.
The event is sponsored by the nonprofit state George Washington Society, a 501(c)(3).