Events & Festivals

It seems like there is always something happening in Port Townsend.

This constant hum of activity is a reflection of the creative, energetic spirit of residents around these parts, and it means that there is plenty of fun activities to plan your trip around.

Just as the locals do, we encourage you to visit the event calendar at PTGuide.com for the latest and greatest information on events in the area. However, here is a snapshot of some of the more popular events and festivals held in Port Townsend each year.

APRIL

Opening of Port Townsend Farmers Market, April 5, 9am-2pm

A goat parade, some fiddlers, farmers, some food and craft and bunch of new vendors launch this year’s Farmers Market. The annual Goat Parade will start promptly at 9 am with kids cloven, and not, making their way down a Tyler Street filled with over 50 vendors. The market will be open every Saturday (same hours) through December, with the Wednesday market opening July 2, from 2-6 pm and running through the fall.

Jefferson County Farmers Market, 360.379.9098, www.jeffersoncountyfarmersmarket.org

King Lear at Key City Public Theatre, April 17-May 10

There’s a fine line between reason and madness

A 21st-century take on one of the great tragedies of all time, a tenuous tapestry woven from the delicate threads of hubris and frailty, blindness and sight, loyalty and love.

Key City Public Theatre, 360.385.5278, www.keycitypublictheatre.org

17th Annual AAUW/UWF Kitchen Tour, April 26, 10am-4pm

A Kala Point of View—this tour raises funds for scholarships and educational programs in Jefferson County.

AAUW/UWF Kitchen Tour, 360.379.1904 www.aauwpt.org

MAY

The Fort Worden Public Development Authority (FWPDA) takes over management of Fort Worden State Park May 1

The FWPDA will be in partnership with Washington State Park (WSP) to manage the primary campus area of the park, its historic buildings, conference center, accommodations and partner organizations, while WSP will continue to manage the traditional elements of the park, i.e. campgrounds, core infrastructure, major maintenance/repair, etc.

Fort Worden, 360.344.4431, www.fwpda.org

Gallery Walk, May 3, 5:30-7:30pm

Tour the downtown and uptown galleries to see new shows and the latest works by local artists. First Saturday of every month throughout the year.

Port Townsend Main Street Program, 360.385.7911, www.ptmainstreet.org

79th Annual Rhododendron Festival, May 12-17

Enjoy the Pet Parade, Bed Races, Grand Parade on Saturday, downtown carnival and the Rhody Run. Rhododendron Festival, 360.301.0783, www.RhodyFestival.org

1st Annual Port Townsend Artisan Food Festival, May 24-25

Celebrate Olympic Peninsula artisan foods and makers with classes, chef demos, tastings, tours, author talks, dinner and even an artisan cocktail tasting, in collaboration with the Port Townsend Farmers Market.

Jefferson County Farmers Market, 360.379.9098, www.jeffersoncountyfarmersmarket.org

JUNE

Brass Screw Confederacy and Steampunk Hootenanny, June 6-8

An action-packed weekend bringing together a body of steampunks, Neo-Victorians, and sympathizers set in the Victorian seaport of Port Townsend to celebrate humanity’s progress towards a more convivial world. Witness artists, actors, and the aesthetically odd that embrace esoteric apparel, exotic experiments, and fantastical imaginations unfettered by trifles like physics and decorum. Theme is “Octopi PT!”

Olympic Peninsula Steam, 360.385.6753, www.brass-screw.org

31st Annual Classic Mariners’ Regatta, June 6-8

More than just a race, this regatta is a celebration of traditional seamanship and maritime heritage. It’s a rendezvous to enjoy the camaraderie of fellow sailors who have met one another over the years. The regatta is sponsored by the Northwest Maritime Center/Wooden Boat Foundation and the Port Townsend Sailing Association.

Wooden Boat Foundation, 360.385.3628 ext 103, www.woodenboat.org

Taste of Port Townsend, June 12

Local restaurants offer samples of farm-to-table deliciousness Port Townsend is known for.

Port Townsend Main Street Program, 360.385.7911, www.ptmainstreet.org

Centrum’s Voice Works, June 23-29

A workshop for singers.

Centrum, 360.385.3102, www.centrum.org

Port Townsend Summer Pub Crawl, June 23

Port Townsend Main Street Program, 360.385.7911, www.ptmainstreet.org

A Life in the Theatre at Key City Public Theatre, June 26-July 13

An exhilarating showcase for two terrific actors
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet’s uproarious backstage comedy about actors at the end and beginning of their careers. A deliciously revealing look at living your life on the stage.

Key City Public Theatre, 360.385.5278, www.keycitypublictheatre.org

Centrum’s Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, June 29-July 6

A foot-tapping celebration from the masters of fiddle traditions with special concerts on the 4th of July!

Centrum, 360.385.3102, www.centrum.org

JULY

Centrum’s Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, July 10-20

Enjoy an astonishing array of small-group workshops, craft lectures, guided freewrites, readings and more, with some of the leading voices in fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Centrum, 360.385.3102, www.centrum.org

Concerts on the Dock, July 10-August 28 (every Thursday), 5:30-7pm

Local bands perform a wide array of dance music downtown on the corner of Water Street and Madison Street. It’s a great way to celebrate summer in Port Townsend!

Port Townsend Main Street Program, 360.385.7911, www.ptmainstreet.org

Centrum’s Jazz Port Townsend, July 20-27

2014 is shaping up to be an epic year for Jazz Port Townsend. Artistic Director John Clayton has worked with Centrum to assemble a truly outstanding collection of the jazz world’s great artists to offer memorable performances and workshops. Don’t miss Jazz in the Clubs in downtown and uptown Port Townsend!

Centrum, 360.385.3102, www.centrum.org

Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival, July 27-August 3

This is a week-long, total-immersion experience that passes down the skills, sounds, stories, laughter, and heartache of the authentic bearers of the blues tradition. For many, it’s a pilgrimage. For others, it’s an intensive week of deeply satisfying music-making. For all, it’s a chance to learn new tunes and styles, and to take playing and performing to a new level. Don’t miss Blues in the Clubs in downtown and uptown Port Townsend!

Centrum, 360.385.3102, www.centrum.org

AUGUST

Key City Public Theatre presents Shakespeare in the Park, August 1-24

The Trojan Woman with, August 1-10

In the aftermath of war, what happens to the women and children left behind?

Are they doomed to slavery or will they become the wives of their conquerors? Their fate and the fate of their victors hang in the balance.

The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), August 15-24

A parody of ALL of Shakespeare’s plays in 97 minutes flat!

Three overachieving actors attempt to perform all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays
in one fast-paced, witty and physical performance! It’s an evening of laughter for Shakespeare lovers (and haters) alike.

Key City Public Theatre, 360.385.5278, www.keycitypublictheatre.org

78th Annual Jefferson County Fair, August 8-10

Enjoy a good ol’-fashioned fair where county residents and guests alike gather to recognize the talents and accomplishments of individuals and families in livestock, agriculture, home and fine arts, crafts, and industry.

Jefferson County Fair, 360.385.1013, www.jeffcofairgrounds.com

2nd Annual Summer Cider Day, August 9, noon-5pm

Discover the delicious diversity of Pacific Northwest craft hard ciders and meet at least 15 cidermakers, while tasting from 50 varieties of local and regional ciders. The day offers the experienced cider enthusiast, as well as the newly cider curious, a chance to sample a complete range of cider styles and flavors.

Northwest Cider Association, 360.336.3727, www.nwcider.com

24th Annual Uptown Street Fair/Parade/Crafts Fair, August 16

Port Townsend Main Street Program, 360.385.7911, www.ptmainstreet.org

SEPTEMBER

Port Townsend Ukulele Festival at Fort Worden State Park, Sept. 3-7

Expect intense fun, ukulele instruction, and merry music making with some of the finest ukulele instructors and players working today. Workshop offerings will feature a wide variety of styles – jazz, blues, swing, Hawaiian, pop, novelty, and jugband ukulele. Classes include chords, melody, improvisation, performing tips. For beginners and more advanced musicians alike.

Centrum, 360.385.3102, www.centrum.org

38th Annual Wooden Boat Festival, Sept. 5-7

This festival is the most education-packed and inspiring wooden boat event in the world. Featuring more than 300 wooden vessels, dozens of indoor and outdoor presentations and demonstrations, a who’s who of wooden boat experts and thousands of wooden boat enthusiasts, there’s something to do, someone to meet, or a boat to board at every turn.

Wooden Boat Foundation, 360.385.3628, www.woodenboat.org

15th Annual Port Townsend Film Festival, Sept. 19-21

Six theatres and one glorious film under the stars nightly. Take in over 90 independent, foreign, classic and documentary films, while mingling with new friends and a celebrity or two. Come meet the filmmakers and strike up a conversation!

Port Townsend Film Institute, 360.379.1333, www.ptfilmfest.com

Port Townsend Fall Pub Crawl, Sept. 29

Port Townsend Main Street Program, 360.385.7911, www.ptmainstreet.org

OCTOBER

Returning the Bones at Key City Public Theatre, October 1-26

How do you choose between your country, your people, and yourself?

In 1948 in a small southern town, a young African-American medical student is faced with a choice only she can make — continue to risk her life in the fight for Civil Rights or escape to Paris to live a life she’s always dreamed of. Based on a true story.

Key City Public Theatre, 360.385.5278, www.keycitypublictheatre.org

32nd Annual Kinetic Skulpture Race, October 4-5

Attempts to marry art and transportation produce hilarious results as kooky, ingenious contraptions try to race the course and strive for mediocrity.

Kinetic Skulpture Race, 360.379.4972 or 360.385.7306, www.PTKinteticRace.org

The Odyssey at Key City Public Theatre, October 5-26

Shipwrecks, sirens and sex goddesses meet cannibalism, death and revenge

Voyage across land and sea, explore the underworld, and climb Mt. Olympus with the brave and courageous hero, Odysseus, as he valiantly seeks his homeland and the arms of his wife and child. You’re sure to recognize yourself in this sometimes comic, at times harrowing, and always thrilling, epic adventure.

Key City Public Theatre, 360.385.5278, www.keycitypublictheatre.org

Downtown Trick-or-Treat, Oct. 31

Port Townsend Main Street Program, 360.385.7911, www.ptmainstreet.org

NOVEMBER

9th Annual Woodworker’s Show, Nov. 1-2

See amazing hand-crafted furniture and other practical (or not) works of wood art. A woodworker’s ball is Saturday night.

Port Townsend School of Woodworking, 360.344.4455, www.ptwoodschool.com

Jefferson County Holiday Craft Fair, Nov. 1-2

Jefferson County Fair, 360.385.1013, www.jeffcofairgrounds.com

Main Street’s Merchants Open House/Small Business Saturday, Nov. 29

Port Townsend Main Street Program, 360.385.7911, www.ptmainstreet.org

DECEMBER

Cinderella at Key City Public Theatre, Dec. 4-28

Believe in the magic of possibility
Inspired by traditional British pantomime, this Cinderella combines splendor, slapstick and song in a unique all-ages celebration of the girl whose unwavering sincerity elevates her from rags to riches. When all seems lost, what’s left for Cinderella but to hope.

Key City Public Theatre, 360.385.5278, www.keycitypublictheatre.org

Community Tree Lighting and Visit from Santa, Dec. 6, 4:30pm

Carolers saunter the streets of Port Townsend framed by festival window displays and fabulous holiday shopping with unique gift items culminating with the lighting of the community tree and a visit from Santa. A perfect way to launch the holiday season.

Port Townsend Main Street Program, 360.385.7911, www.ptmainstreet.org

Holiday Victorian Homes Tour and Yuletide Festival with Father Christmas, Dec. 13

Tour some of Port Townsend’s most beautiful heritage homes decked out in their holiday finery. Then stroll downtown where carolers, a holiday salon, and Father Christmas will be on hand to lend some seasonal cheer.

Olympic Peninsula Steam, 360.385.6753, www.olympicpeninsulasteam.org

Port Townsend Winter Pub Crawl, Dec. 29

Port Townsend Main Street Program, 360.385.7911, www.ptmainstreet.org

New Year’s Eve Cruise to Protection Island, Dec. 31, 1-4pm

Ring in the New Year by joining the Port Townsend Marine Science Center for an early winter bird migration cruise to Protection Island or south toward Port Ludlow, weather depending. Reservations required.

Port Townsend Marine Science Center, 360.385.5582 ext 104, www.ptmsc.org

First Night Celebration, Dec. 31, 6-9pm

First Night is an alcohol-free New Year’s Eve community celebration focusing on art, culture and heritage with a maritime theme tying it all together. Good for all ages.

Jefferson County Historical Society, 360.385.1003, www.jchsmuseum.org