See History Come Alive at the Northwest Colonial Festival
Story, Photos and video courtesy of the Northwest Colonial Festival
The sounds of children laughing and squealing, the clang of a blacksmith’s hammer, the proclamations of the town crier, and the sound of musketry emanate from the grounds of the George Washington Inn. Enthusiastic children dress in colonial costumes, make colonial crafts, and play colonial-era games. Women in charming colonial outfits, and men in regimental redcoats mix easily with modern day families dressed in shorts and tee shirts around the Colonial Village. It's time for the Northwest Colonial Festival, happening August 31 - September 3, 2023.
Since its highly successful beginning in 2014, the Northwest Colonial Festival has attracted over 100 reenactors and historical portrayers every year with the sole purpose of accurately representing America’s founding past.
Tourists and locals listen attentively as a blacksmith, a chandler, or a gunsmith eagerly share their wares, often allowing onlookers to participate in the activity. A smiling, colonial-clad woman spins wool as an attractive couple faithfully plays music on a harpsicord and violin. Visitors are treated to faithful recreations of 18th century skirmishes between colonists, rebelling against their mother country, and the forces of Great Britain - complete with noise, flame, and smoke followed by educational dialogue between the participants and audience. The Northwest Colonial Festival is “A Revolutionary good time”!
The Sons of the American Revolution is a patriotic, historical, and educational Society, dedicated to assisting members, schools, teachers and the general public in their efforts to sustain and preserve our history and constitutional principles. Visit with members and hear talks about colonial frontier life, the history and use of the flag, and more. The Daughters of the American Revolution offer a view from the Distaff side with a focus on education, historic preservation, and patriotism. They are particularly involved this year with the children’s activities.
The Continental Militia will participate in skirmish reenactments and musket firing demonstrations throughout the encampment. You can also visit and chat with them about life in the 18th Century and during the War for Independence.
The unit represents the Regiments of Foot, sent in 1774 “to bring order to the chaotic situation in Boston”, maintain law and order, and keep the King’s Peace. Watch as they perform the Manual of Arms 1764, engage in popular pastimes, and receive pay and rations. Come discuss colonial politics and see history from the British perspective.
With displays in period correct Revolutionary War tents, watch camp followers carry out the support duties to keep soldiers clothed, fed, and cared for. 18th Century Crafts are demonstrated throughout the camp, including sewing, knitting, wood working, smithing, cooking, and baking, and candlestick making.
See metal work and gunsmithing - Colonial gunsmiths were a valuable part of the community in early America. View rifles and muskets in various stages of completion as well as period tools to build and repair them.
Local educators provide a great opportunity of children to learn about the colonial era and have fun playing colonial era games, seeking clues on a treasure hunt and listening to age-appropriate books in the Children’s Village. Social dancing was a vital part of life in the colonial era. Proficiency in dance was a necessary part of what it meant to be a "Gentleman" or a “Lady”. Visitors can learn how to dance and socialize like a proper colonist!
Based in the Northwest, the Army of the Columbia Fife and Drum Corps is a premier award-winning organization that portrays soldiers who had very important roles during the Revolutionary War. 18th Century crafts will be on display in the Fiber Arts building and in other camps throughout the venue. View demonstrations of flax and wool spinning, weaving, knitting, bobbin lace, shuttle knotting, and sewing done by the Daughters of Liberty who supported the effort for Independence.