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Queen Victoria’s Birthday

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Join us at Fort Nisqually Living History Museum for a day of revelry in honor of Queen Victoria’s birthday! Celebrate with cannon fire and Victorian finery.

Many of the Fort’s ladies and gentlemen will be dressed in their finest 1850s fashion. Throughout the day, guests can visit with our historical interpreters, join in a game of croquet, explore hands-on activities, and enjoy live music and dance performances. Afternoon tea, a Queen Victoria favorite, will be served to visiting guests.

The tradition of celebrating the British Queen in the Puget Sound may surprise some, but it is not a new one. On May 25, 1846, Fort Nisqually took a holiday. A planned revue was canceled due to rain. The day before, the HMS Fisgard, a British 46-gunned frigate, fired a royal salute from the decks over the Puget Sound to commemorate her 27th birthday. This year, the gentlemen and gentlewomen of Fort Nisqually Living History Museum plan to celebrate her (203rd!) birthday – rain or shine – with cannon fire and Victorian finery.

At 11:30 am bagpipes will announce the start of the traditional tributes to the Queen, including a musket volley, cannon salute, and toasts from the Fort’s Chief Factor, Dr. Tolmie.

Throughout the day, visitors can learn about historic firearms from black powder demonstrations, visit with blacksmiths working at the forge, enjoy music and dance around a May Pole, and even challenge Dr. Tolmie, to a game of croquet.

Visitors looking for a more refined experience can join interactive demonstrations on ‘How to Host a Victorian Tea.’ Take home tips on what to serve, who to invite, and learn why coffee drinkers should not drop in for an afternoon tea. Tea Samples will be available all day in the Large Store.

Visitors can also make their own Calling Cards, a Victorian social tradition and Victorian folding fan. Crafts and hands-on activities will be available throughout the Fort.

Image credit: Metro Parks Tacoma

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