The time has come to dust off your best cravat, press those trousers and curl that mustache. No, it’s not Saturday night at the Nachbar, kids. This weekend Historic Locust Grove will open its doors, grounds and hearts to the 5th Annual Jane Austen Festival for two days filled with oodles of Regency fashions, tea, trinkets and workshops.
Open for all manner of Jane Austen jubilation from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, the Jane Austen Festival – and its band of merry Regency aficionados – will recreate the world of Jane Austen’s classic books and Victorian lifestyle this Saturday, July 21st and Sunday, July 22nd. Sponsored by the Jane Austen Society of North America and held in the historic Georgian setting of Locust Grove, the festival offers a $10 daily admission, giving a spectrum of fans and bookworms access to the Regency Emporium, the Shoppes of Meryton, tours of the historic Locust Grove home and a myriad of demonstrations and traveling entertainment.
Shops will display a plethora of Regency bits and bobs, including fabric, patterns, dresses, waistcoats, tea sets, jewelry, books, paintings and other Victorian memorabilia to tickle your fancy. Attendees can also see Regency style own the runway with a Victorian fashion show, watch the delicate creation of lace and enjoy a full gamut of roaming shenanigans on the Village Green as everything from side-saddle riding, to a gentleman’s duel, to live music and bare-knuckle brawling is demonstrated. Hungry historians should seek out the Big Top Tent for a variety of daily presentations and talking topics concerning Austen and her books; normal appetites can be satiated with an array of scones, tea, sandwiches and other delightful Victorian vitals available for purchase at the Earl of Sandwich Tea Shop.
For additional green, Regency fans can also participate in a Four-Course Afternoon Tea (several sittings each day) for $20, enjoy a one-woman theatrical performance from Fanny Kemble, Shame in the Devil, for $10 and engage in hands-on workshops such as fan painting and tea tastings for $25 each session. True fans can top off the day with a top hat and tails at Saturday’s Grand Ball for $20 and a good pair of dancing shoes.
Ready to trade some skinnies for a shawl? Polish that pocket watch, turn back the clock and get your kicks this weekend at the Jane Austen Festival.
Historic Locust Grove is located at 561 Blankenbaker Lane.
Advanced reservations are encouraged.
Photo: Courtesy of Locust Grove website www.locustgrove.org