Victorian BallFresh off of hosting last June’s Brass Screw Confederacy, A Steampunk Hootenanny, Olympic Peninsula Steam, in collaboration with The Victorian Society in America Northwest Chapter and the Jefferson County Historical Society, presents Port Townsend’s annual Victorian Festival on March 21-24, 2013.

“The festival, now in its 17th year, celebrates Port Townsend’s 19th century heritage and the town’s unique role as an exquisitely preserved historical seaport that is surviving and thriving as a modern city,” says festival organizer Nathan Barnett.

The three-day event includes lectures on Victorian costuming, gardening and culture, including Women’s Suffrage and the Temperance Movement. There will also be demonstrations of 19th century bicycling and such “manly arts” as bare-knuckle boxing, fencing, and the firing of a Gatling gun and cannons.

Special guest author and northwest gardening authority Ann Lovejoy will help inaugurate the festival with a special fundraising dinner on Friday, March 22, with advice on how to deer-proof your garden. (The dinner that follows features venison!) She will then be on hand throughout the weekend to deliver several lectures on Victorian crafts, including beading and embroidery, landscapes, medicinal herbs and what people in the 19th century grew in their kitchen gardens.

Social events include the popular Victorian Ball on Saturday night, featuring period dances led by a caller and live music from Broken Dreams, as well as a Friday night square dance to celebrate the more playful and carefree recreations of the era. There will also be a fashion show featuring vintage and reproduction clothing of the 19th century, high teas, and a Victorian bicycle race.

Events take place in beautiful downtown Port Townsend, in venues that include the Cotton and Pope Marine Buildings, the Legion Hall and the Jefferson Museum of Art and History. General tickets are $25 with “early-bird” tickets available for $20. Certain events such as tours, dinner, and dances have additional costs.

Further information and tickets are available at, and during the festival at the Cotton Building, 607 Water St, Port Townsend.