NW Colonial Festival
When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., July 15-19
Where: George Washington Inn & Estate, 939 Finn Hall Road
Cost: $10 admission per car load (up to six people), $5 for each additional adult; admission includes access to both the NW Colonial Festival and coinciding Washington Lavender Festival
More info: colonialfestival.com or www.walavender.com.
To time travel back to April 19, 1775, officials with the George Washington Society have organized a multi-day festival centered on the battles of Lexington Green and the Old North Bridge – events credited with launching the Revolutionary War.
The rumble of canyons and booms of muskets will be heard beginning today, Wednesday, July 18, through Sunday, July 19, at George Washington Inn and Estate, 939 Finn Hall Road during the first NW Colonial Festival.
A reenactment of the Battle on Lexington Green will be fought at noon each day, followed by the Battle of Concord on the North Bridge at 2:30 p.m.
“Every American should know these two stories,” event director Dan Wilbanks said. “This is a fun way to tell them, and we’re working to make it as authentic as possible.”
Atop a bluff hugging the Strait of Juan de Fuca, a replica of George Washington’s home sets the stage for the festival where at least two dozen re-enactors, some traveling from Arizona, are anticipated to make history come alive. Vern Frykholm, playing the role of George Washington, will be parading the grounds, accompanied by re-enactors from the NW Colonial Reenactment Association, The 2nd Connecticut Regiment of Militia, The 7th Company, Brigade of Guards and the Army of the Columbia Fife and Drum Corps.
“The open fields and the Inn as the backdrop make this a perfect place to host something like this,” Dan Abbott, owner of George Washington Inn and Estate, said. “But we couldn’t do it without the collaboration and help.”
Adding to the accurate portrayal of the Battle of Concord where the British column were confronted by a group of armed militia 240 years ago, a full-scale, 120-foot long duplicate of the Concord Bridge was built.
In an effort to spark interest in early American history, both Wilbanks and Abbott envision the now locally-located replica of the Concord Bridge as ideal place to bring children and students for future learning opportunities.
“We’re hoping this will be a catalyst for education,” Wilbanks said. “Not from a political aspect, but for the historic value and to understand who we are as Americans.”
Between the scheduled battles, ongoing colonial activities and demonstrations such as wool-spinning, gunsmithing and blacksmithing with colonial period re-enactors, sutlers and artisans can be seen in the colonial village bordering the battlefield, along with the separate British and Militia camps set up for exploration.
Because the NW Colonial Festival is co-occurring with the Washington Lavender Festival at George Washington Inn and Estate, some participating lavender-related vendors will be up and running early. Throughout both festivals, food is available for purchase from Kokopelli Grill.
Entrance fees to the NW Colonial Festival support the George Washington Society, a non-profit dedicated to an appreciation of early American history.