Jessamyn's Regency Costume Companion: Events





Beamish open-air museum in England.

Updated May 2009!

New listings for 2009: Annual balls in Connecticut and Michigan, two dance series in Massachusetts, a historic plantation in Pennsylvania, a Regency society in Oregon, English country dancing in several states - and Canada, and Jane Austen getaways at a Federal-period bed-and-breakfast in Vermont!

This page offers a list of events - and groups that hold events - that provide occasions to wear Regency or Federalist costumes. There are many more groups not listed here that do primitive early-19th-century living history (buckskinners) or strictly military reenactment (Napoleonic and War of 1812). I've tried to ferret out events to which you can wear civilian clothes and have something to do besides shoot things, but remember that every group has its own focus - don't expect to tackle table manners at the Alabama Frontier Days or wear a silk gown to the Muster in the Mountains.

All underlined event titles are links to a website with more information. And as ever, if you would like a group or event to be on this list (or if any of this information is incorrect or out of date), please do let me know.

For a great explanation of buckskinning and an intensive list of events in the upper midwest for buckskinners and military reenactors, I strongly recommend a visit to Eddie Little Bear's Tipi.

Jump to: National & International | United States | Canada | England | Australia


National & International

American Longrifle Association (ALRA). A pretty serious group of reenactors, but much less militarily focused than most. Holds events around the U.S. When you join, you create a persona from the period 1750-1815.

The Canadian Corps of Voyageurs. This 1812 reenactment group is, unlike many, pretty open to women, children, and tradesmen (vs. military men). Based out of Old Fort William, they take part in events all over central Canada and the north central United States, and do have members in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA). Holds an annual meeting each October that includes a costumed Regency ball. Each year a new city hosts. Also, be sure to take this link to find your local chapter; many chapters hold wonderful events in their own right.

Northwest Brigade Club. Focuses on the living history of the western Canadian fur trade from 1774 to 1821. Has "a core group of reenactors in Alberta, but members from across North America benefit from the information in the club's quarterly publication, Northwest Journal."

Worldcon. As the name implies, this is in fact the product of a worldwide organization: the World Science Fiction Society. What does that have to do with Regency events? Well, for complex reasons, most Worldcons include a Regency ball. Each year it is held in a different city.

United States

Alabama


Alabama Frontier Days. A five-day event hosted by Fort Toulouse and Jackson State Park in Wetumpka, a public-oriented living-history event in November. Also, "skilled reenactors such as the Tennessee Militiaman demonstrate the war of 1812 and the Creek war of 1813-1814 the first weekend of each month and the second week of November beginning November 6th."


Arizona


We Make History. Holds various dance events throughout Arizona (and now Virginia), varying from all-inclusive historical balls to those focusing on a specific period, such as Victorian. The website is full of information on customs and costumes. Scott himself is at left.

California


Friends of the English Regency. Holds occasional assemblies in Southern California. How can one resist this tag line: "Do join us, especially if you're at least reasonably frivolous"? The site goes on to say, "We have no officers, no organization, and no formal membership, but we do get together once a year for an Assembly...and more often when we like. Period costume is welcome at our affairs, although not required. We have had tastings of Madeira wine and Ping Suey tea, a balloon ascension, card parties, a Rossini concert, and mock duels with swords and with black powder pistols. Also we like to dance."

Historical Citizens Association. A non-profit group of Southern Californians comprising "living historians dedicated to portraying authentic citizens of the past" with a focus on educating others. Although their primary era is the Civil War, they also do late Victorian and Regency events and workshops.

Lively Arts History Association. Lists a variety of historical events of all periods, civilian and military, throughout Southern California, including a Jane Austen evening annually in January.
South Bay English Country Dance, an affiliate of the California Dance Cooperative, holds weekly country dances (not dressed up) and the annual Southern California Playford Ball (at which you can dress up as you please). In the past the ball has taken place on a Saturday in October in Pasadena, with a theme each year. Admission is by pre-registration only, so be sure to visit the web site for more information and a registration form. (Note: as of 2009, seems to be on hold.)

Los Soldados del Real Presidio de Santa Barbara. Reenactment group in Santa Barbara recreating the Soldado de Cuera soldiers of the period 1769-1821; affiliated with the Santa Barbara Presidio restoration. "The soldiers of the Presidio and their wives played an important role in the colonization of California, and the families of the military became the region's first non-native population."

Bay Area English Regency Society (BAERS). Holds a variety of Regency events, mostly dances, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Past events have included the ball at the Crown from Emma, as well as the wonderful annual Regency Science Fair. That's my husband seated at near left getting a phrenology reading (I'm reacting at far left). Thanks to Carolyn Dougherty for the photo.

Period Events & Entertainments Re-Creation Society (PEERS). Holds a variety of fun historical events, also in the Bay Area, sometimes in association with BAERS. Periods vary, but recurring events include November's Le Bal des Vampires, featuring music, dancing, and costumes of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries with an emphasis on waltzes.


Greater Bay Area Costumer's Guild (GBACG). Holds workshops on different aspects of historical costume detail and throws (often outdoor) events at which to wear costumes of various periods, usually including Regency; past events have included the Romantic Poetry Picnic and A Regency Day in Ireland. Womderful fun, and open to anyone who loves costuming.


Ye Gaskell Occasional Dance Society. The Gaskell Ball is held every other month in Oakland in the grand Scottish Rite Temple. Dress is anything formal, 19th-century to the present. A five-piece brass band provides music for waltzes, polkas, mazurkas, country dances, and more. Potluck finger food.


Connecticut


Elegant Arts Society Annual Regency Assembly. Held in New Haven each year, it features a Saturday afternoon dance workshop and evening ball with music by the musicians of Spare Parts and refreshments prepared from the sources of the era. The ball and dance workshops will be led by the well-respected Regency dance expert Susan de Guardiola, who will lead "lively country dances and Scotch reels along with the Caledonian Quadrilles, and the scandalous Waltz." Sunday brings an afternoon of Regency-era games accompanied by still more refreshments. As of this writing the website is down, but try this events listing.

Florida


The Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. Past events have included an 18th-century Christmas open house and a 12th Night Ball, 18th-century attire only. There is some alternate information here.

Alafia River Rendezvous. A pre-1840 living-history encampment where reenactors set up and live in camps portraying and demonstrating life skills of various Early American cultures (British, Irish, Scottish, Spanish, and Native American). "At last year's gathering, over 1,000 lodges were set up, housing well over 1,600 people. Traders' Row was host to well over 100 traders selling everything from kettle corn to tents to firearms and knives, beads and sarsaparilla to skins and period clothing of all sorts." You can attend as a camping re-eanactor (but you must register ahead) or a day visitor.

Hawaii


Mission Houses Museum. Reenacting early-19th-century Hawaiian social history in various events and programs. On Kama'aina Days (the last Saturday of each month), museum interpreters dressed in period clothing guide visitors through the historic houses and discuss nineteenth-century life in Honolulu. Demonstrations include cooking on a reproduction 1840s wood-fired cookstove, printing on a reproduction Ramage printing press, and outdoor period games for children. Or become a docent yourself! Check the events schedule for docent training days.


Illinois


Fort Massac Encampment. An annual event held at Fort Massac State Park in October. "More than 500 participants, including members of 12 military reenactment regiments and more than 20 period crafters. Recreates the lifestyles of British, French, and Colonial military forces that occupied the historic fort at various times between 1757 and 1814." The fort also holds living-history weekends throughout the year, including an "Old Tyme Christmas."

Fort De Chartres State Historic Site. An eighteenth-century fort built on the banks of the Mississippi River near Prairie du Rocher. Annual spring and winter rendezvous offering "a blend of 18th- and 19th-century activities including muzzleloading competition, military and cannon competition, music, crafts, food, dancing, traders, and more."


Indiana


Indiana Territory Festival. This event, held in Corydon, celebrates Indiana's statehood and focuses on the period 1808-1825. The organizers have had actors portraying local heroes; period music; an 1812-era gentlemen's duel; and a reenactment of the signing of the state constitution in the very 1809 courthouse in which it was originally signed!

Conner Prairie (pictured right). A living-history site interpreting various periods, including the 1823 William and Elizabeth Conner Home. Check out the spiffy new website! Offers all kinds of events and classes, and uses volunteers to do costumed interpretation. Located in Fishers, near Indianapolis.

Swiss Heritage Village & Museum. Located in Berne. Their buildings date from the 1830s through 1900, but in September they host the Berne Heritage Festival, in which traditions of Old Switzerland such as yodeling and the stone toss are accompanied by nearly two dozen other living-history reenactments and craft vendors. Included are a Native American village, Fur Trade Encampment, wool spinning, rug weaving, old-fashioned children's games, a scarecrow contest and live musicians.


Mississinewa 1812 (pictured left). Held in October, this is like an 1812 version of the popular Renaissance faires. Join 30,000 other attendees (as opposed to the military reenactors). Watch battles, buy food, see crafts, etc. Located north of Marion, Indiana.

Old Fort Wayne. The current fort is a replica of the one constructed by Major John Whistler and his men during 1815-16 and was the last fort to stand at the junction of the St. Mary's, St. Joseph, and Maumee Rivers. There look to be lots of interesting volunteer opportunities for costumed demonstrators, capped by the annual reenactment of the Siege of Fort Wayne (women and children welcome, too!)


Iowa


Old Fort Madison, located in the southeast corner of Iowa, recreates military life in reconstructed buildings at a historic garrison that was home to the 1st Regiment U.S. Infantry from 1808 to 1813. "Be greeted by authentically garbed historic interpreters performing the duties that were necessary to sustain life at an isolated fort, from baking bread to drilling with muskets or cannon. Partake of the past by trying a fresh-baked morsel, dipping a candle, hefting a Springfield musket, or just interacting with interpreters." Special events include tours combined with period dinners throughout the summer; in October, Candlelight Tours with period reenactments, music, and refreshments; and in September, regulars, militia and Indians gather at the garrison to reenact the Siege of Ft. Madison, a four-day battle that occured in September 1812. Encampments, demonstrations, battle reenctments, competitions, and a trade fair take place throughout the weekend.

Kentucky


Lexington Vintage Dance holds various 19th- and early 20th-century dances, including "Mostly Waltz," a monthly "vintage sampler"; a regular English country dance; workshop weekends; and balls. They also offer a CD of music entitled "Lady Caroline's Regency Romp: Dance Music of the Early 19th Century," perfect for the period and an entire hour and 20 minutes of music!

Louisiana


The Louisiane Vintage Dancers hold an annual costumed ball (not period-specific) and do demonstration dances and events of various periods, including Regency.

Audubon Pilgrimage. John James Audubon, of bird-illustrating fame, lived briefly in St. Francisville, Louisiana, in the 1820s. The town celebrates in March with, among other things, a tour of area homes dating from 1799 through 1811, and costumed children dancing a maypole and playing period games. Visit the Rural Homestead to experience the lifestyle of rural Southerners: open-hearth and woodstove cookery, basket-weaving, quilting, cotton-carding, spinning, cornmeal-grinding, shingle-riving, and groundbreaking by mule and plow, all accompanied by home-grown music-makers.

Maryland


Riversdale was built in Riverdale Park between 1801 and 1807. Begun by an emigre from Antwerp, it was finished by his daughter Rosalie and her husband, George Calvert.
"Rosalie's correspondence with her father has survived....The letters give us great insight into family life and social customs in early Federal America." More than just balls and encampments, recently scheduled events have included Regency-era picnics, cooking lessons, and more.

Baltimore Folk Music Society. Holds an English Country Dance at 8 p.m. every Monday. Beginners are welcome, all dances are taught, and the music is live. $6 for members, $8 for nonmembers.


Ship's Company. Nautical living-history non-profit volunteer group supporting the sloop-of-war Constellation. Holds various events in the 1775-1865 time period. Also, member Steven Lampredi is looking to create a truly period production of an 1829 play, Black Eyed Susan; or All in the Downs, by Douglas Jerrold, Esq. "This play established the popularity of maritime melodramas and was often performed through the rest of the 19th century. Having obtained the endorsement of Ship's Company, Steven, an actor and director, proposes to recruit volunteers from the living history community to stage this lively period play." Volunteers of all levels of ability are desired.


Mass-
achusetts


The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers tackle a variety of period dances, including the Second Sunday Boston Vintage Tea Dances, which range from 1812 to 1920. They try to maintain a balance between teaching and dancing, serve tea and refreshments, and "some people like to wear historical or ethnic costumes to the dances, though they aren't required and many people don't. Sometimes we feel inspired to decorate the dance hall in accordance with a theme of the month."

Country Dance Society, Boston Centre. In addition to regular English Country Dance practice, CDS Boston Centre offers many special dances throughout the year, such as the Fall Favorites dance party in September, the Gala Holiday Party on the first Saturday of the New Year, and the Boston Playford Ball on the Saturday after the first Friday in March.


Michigan


Support the Fort. Yet another new web page for this historic site! The Rendezvous seems to have been replaced by the Fort St. Joseph Education Days, featuring merchants, archeology, native culture, military, voyageurs, games, food, and more, all in a frontier village. The focus of the Fort is on 18th century, but its history runs up through about 1820.

Feast of the Ste. Claire. An annual May event sponsored by the Port Huron Museum of Arts & History. "Parade, presentation of colors, tomahawk throws, puppet show, fashion show, fife & drum show, frying-pan toss, battle demonstration, dances, ladies' tea, and more." Focuses on 18th and early 19th century; more here.

Grand Traditions Vintage Dance is a dance group offering classes, workshops, performances, and balls in dance styles ranging from early 19th through early 20th century. An annual December 19th-century ball varies in theme each year, and beginner dance classes include Regency innovations such as waltzes and quadrilles. They'll also offer tips on costume (see picture at right) and hold costume sales to help members move old costumes on to new homes.

Lenawee County Heritage Festival. Annual September event in Adrian. "Looking for participants of French and Indian War to Civil War time periods. Mountain Men, Indian, Celtic - all welcome. Abraham Lincoln's camp and Father, Son & Friends will be there. Lost art demonstration." Contact Alice Clark, 4390 E. Mulberry Rd., Jasper, MI 49248. A brief but up-to-date listing is available here (use the Find function in your browser (usually Control-F) so you don't have to read the entire list of events in Lenawee County for the year!).

Regency Exhibition Ball. An annual English Country Dancing ball held in Lansing each spring. Attendees are required to dress in clothes of 1800-25, but to help out, costume workshops are held in the months preceding the event. Held in a lovely hall, with period decorations and light refreshments. Even if you can't attend, enjoy the pictures and videos on the website!

River of Time Living History Encampment. A free educational event held in September on the banks of the Saginaw River, it showcases a timeline of eras in the history of North America, Michigan, and Bay County. As many as 900 reenactors dress and act the part of Native Americans, Colonists, French voyageurs, and Civil War-era soldiers. Demonstrations of 18th-century crafts, music, children's activities including a historical puppet show, and preparing meals are part of the scene. Even canoe rides!

Spirits of the North. A dedicated society of historical reenactors focused on the people and events of the Mackinac area from 1600 to 1815. Events include War of 1812 Encampment, Mackinac Island (including everything from a Firearms Comparison and Drill Firing to a fashion show!). NOTE: main website is gone as of February 2005, but I've linked to an events page listing the current year's event.


Minnesota


Historic Fort Snelling. This fort and year-round living-history center is looking for both paid employees and volunteers! "Discover an 1820s military outpost once at the edge of a small settlement but now at the center of Minnesota's Twin Cities metropolitan area. This restored stone fortress opens its gates to welcome you to frontier life. Imagine that the year is 1827 as costumed guides greet you as if you've just arrived via steamboat up the Mississippi River." 1827 is a little late for Regency, but then again, people weren't exactly fashion-forward on the frontier and clothes of the early 1820s would still be worn by most.

North West Company Fur Post. Open during the summer, with a focus on the year 1804. "From the early 1500s to roughly 1840, the North American fur trade brought American Indians and Euro-Americans together in the exchange of goods and furs. The post has been reconstructed on its original 1804 site." Holds various events.

The White Oak Society (pictured left). Recreating 1798 fur-trade America. Holds a summer rendevous and also lists a variety of other rendevous in Minnesota. Attractive website.

Festival of Adventures. The town of Aitken celebrates various periods out of its past, including the 1790-1830 fur-trade era, during this September weekend festival. Held over several acres and including various Renaissance-Faire-style reenactments, music and dance, and period crafts, admission is only $3. The public is encouraged to dress in period style; or contact them about becoming a full-blown reenactor. More here.


Missouri


Fort Belle Fontaine, the first fort west of the Mississippi and the starting point for the Louis and Clark Expedition, holds an encampment usually the third weekend in September. The link above will take you to Living History Re-enactors, Inc., a nonprofit corporation in the St. Louis area that puts on the event and clearly has done a lot of hard work of restoration and education.

Pomme de Terre Rendezvous. Held in Hermitage in May, this is a pre-1840 buckskinner's event that features arts & craft shows, a black-powder competition, an Indian artifacts display, antique equipment, a blacksmith, bobbin-lace making, children's games, and even a petting zoo! The first link is stuck on the description for the 2004 event, but it still seems to be happening; here is a more up-to-date (but text-only) listing.


Nebraska


The Friends of Fort Atkinson is an organization dedicated to living-history interpretation of the reconstructed 1820 Army fort just outside of Omaha. All stations of life during the late Federal period are portrayed. Even though a frontier post, life and social events continued. "A living history experience that is not soon forgotten."


New Hampshire


Muster in the Mountains. Run by the Pequawket Alliance, a French & Indian War group, in September. "Covers the fur trade period from the late 1600s to about 1840, which really makes it more of a rendezvous than a muster." Note: Link is dead as of 2009, and I can't find any further information. Is this one gone?

New Mexico


The Georgian Society. Holds mid-18th-to-early-19th-century dances and events in Albuquerque. Check out the "photo album" on their site for inspiration.

El Rancho de las Golondrinas. A Spanish Colonial living-history museum with both 18th- and 19th-century buildings and reenactments. Offers themed weekends, including the Summer Festival, Frontier Days & Peruvian Paso Horses in August. "A wild weekend with mountain men, soldiers, traders, and gunfighters. Music, dance, art, entertainment, and fun for the whole family. Food is available."

New York


Genessee Country Village & Museum. Does 1820s-30s mostly. Offers Hearth Dinners on Saturday evenings. "Gather three other couples and participate in an open-hearth cooking experience at Hosmer Inn kitchen. Prepare a sumptuous repast and enjoy an evening of food and friendship." $80 per couple. Wow the museum folks and show up in period dress! Also check the events calendar.

Old Fort Niagara. The 300-year-old fort and grounds (originally French, then English, finally American) offer various events and reenactments, including War of 1812.


The Elegant Arts Society in New York City (shown at left) holds regular workshops on Regency dance and an annual Regency Assembly in October, and also lists other East Coast Regency events. The workshops require neither partner nor experience - a great way to get started, or polish your skills.

Albacon is an annual science-fiction convention held in Albany that includes a Regency ball, put on with the help of the Elegant Arts Society (listed above).

Lunacon is the annual sci-fi event of the New York Science Fiction Society, held each year in New York City and also including a Regency ball.


North Carolina


Historic Latta Plantation. Just outside of Charlotte, Latta Plantation features a federal house built in 1799 and events and interpretations there focus on the 1800-1830 period. They welcome costumed volunteers and have several events (admission only $5 or free to members); past events have included a folklife festival and a Backcountry Christmas. A new feature is the ability to rent the plantation for your event!

Old Salem (pictured right). This permanent living-history village recreates life in Salem in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, a time when it was a church-run town occupied by the Moravians, a German religious group that escaped persecution in the old country. Open all year. I don't think it's the kind of place you'd wear a costume as a tourist, but it might be worthwhile to look into work and volunteer opportunities.

Polk Memorial. This site, on land once owned by the parents of 11th U.S. President James K. Polk, has period log buildings and furnishings from the early 1800s. Offering, in addition to a paean to Polk, various events throughout the year including an 1805 militia muster and candlelight Christmas tours. For more information on current events, call (704) 889-7145.

Smith-McDowell House Museum (pictured at left). Asheville's oldest surviving house was built in 1840, but we put on events of a variety of periods. I volunteer at Smith-McDowell, so I'd love to see you there!

Vance Birthplace. Focusing on the late 18th century and early 19th, this site has several early buildings and the restored childhood home of Zebulon Vance, a famous North Carolina native son. Offering volunteer opportunities, including a Candlelight Christmas with reenactors set at the turn of the 19th century.


Ohio


The Fair at New Boston. Held Labor Day weekend by the George Rogers Clark Heritage Association, which also holds other events and classes. It is a recreation of an early American trade fair representing 1790-1810. "The 'frontier celebration' showcases the best living history craftsmen, artificers, artisans, entertainers, and militia units. You can observe spinners, potters, joiners, cordwainers, printers, and many fine period craftsmen working diligently at their tasks. Or you can shop for 18th century goods such as wool blankets, baskets, tinware, furniture, clothing and more." There is also stage entertainment, food and drink and taverns, and a woodland Indian village. You can even take a ride in a horse-drawn coach. And registered, period-correct participants get to attend an after-hours ball!

Flying Cloud Academy of Vintage Dance. A non-profit, Cincinnati-based group "dedicated to the preservation of historic ballroom dance" that holds demonstrations, historic-dance classes, and occasional events.


Fort Meigs. Built in 1813 by William Henry Harrison (shown at left) to defend the Ohio Country against British invasion, Fort Meigs is the largest wooden walled fortification in North America, rebuilt on its original location in a wooded park in Perrysburg. The Fort Meigs Overnight is available May through October by appointment and includes learning about the War of 1812, dining on period food, participating in period skills and games, and camping overnight.
Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial. On South Bass Island in Lake Erie. An event commemorating the anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie, a decisive victory for Commodore Perry (shown at right) is held each year the weekend after Labor Day. Events marking the anniversary include War of 1812 reenactors/living history encampment, military demonstrations, ceremonies, and an evening concert.
Cincinnati English Country Dancers. From the web site: "Classes and events feature live music in a non-smoking location with a large wooden floor, climate control and ample parking. Regular classes are held on the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Thursday of each month at 8 p.m. Beginners are always welcome, and no partner or costume are necessary." However, judging by the photos on the site, costumed special events are part of the schedule.

Ohio


The Oregon Regency Society aims to unite the many Regency-themed groups in Oregon and Southern Washington dedicated to the appreciation of Jane Austen, Lord Byron, Beau Brummell, English country and Regency dance, and Regency Romance, as well as costumers, reenactors, Live Action Role Players (LARP), history and literature students, and more. Each may be interested in exploring other aspects of the period we commonly appreciate, and this is a venue where the myriad interests can unite under the umbrella of the Regency Period.

Penn-
sylvania


Fort Necessity National Battlefield. A National Park Service site, including the 1828 Mount Washington Tavern (pictured left). Mostly just an interesting site to visit (most reenactments seem to be French & Indian War), but does hold a 19th-century harvest festival in October and an Old-Time Christmas at the inn each year.

Tapestry Historic Dance Ensemble. Dedicated to the research, reconstruction, and performance of historic social dance from the late 15th through the mid-19th centuries. "Court dances, country dances, and ballroom dances, researched from period sources, are showcased in diverse and entertaining programs presented in colorful and authentically styled historic costume." Available for performances, workshops, and programs of various lengths, themes, and historic eras, including Regency. Holds weekly classes and welcomes participants!

Meadowcroft Museum of Rural Life. Holds Time-Travel Weekends in August and October in which you "explore the lifeways of Scotch-Irish immigrants who settled in Western Pennsylvania during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Sleep in a restored log house, prepare meals on the fireplace hearth, and participate in early farm tasks such as butter-making, woodworking, and spinning wool." Also, events where costume isn't expected but could be fun: 19th-century rural American Independence Day festivities; an introductory workshop on the basic skills of blacksmithing as practiced in the 19th century; Halloween village tour by lantern light with traditional ghost stories of the region - period refreshments included; Christmas-time taffy-pull and carol-singing.

Woodville Plantation is "Southwestern Pennsylvania's principal link to the late 18th century," interpreting the time period of 1780-1820 and documenting the lives of the three families that lived there. Each month, interpreters present the common everyday activities necessary to maintain and operate the plantation. Other events include 12th Night, Boxing Day, and a 1794 encampment.


South Dakota


The Brookings Renegades Muzzleloaders Club. The primary interest of the club is the fur-trade era before 1840. Most of the club's members recreate mountain men, fur traders, and voyageurs of the plains and mountains, but sponsors several weekend reenactment events throughout the year, including a Christmas party and historical dinner.


Texas


Sam Houston Memorial Museum. Click on Folk Festival, which offers reenactments and demonstrations. Dates reenacted aren't given, but it's largely the right period (Sam was born in the late 1790s and accomplished much as a young man).


Vermont


Jane Austen Weekends at the Governor's House. At this delightful and historic bed-and-breakfast in Hyde Park (near Stowe), attend literary weekends for the Jane Austen devoteť. "Take afternoon tea. Listen to Mozart. Bring your needlework. Share your thoughts at a book discussion of Persuasion or Pride and Prejudice and how the movies stand up to the books. Attend a talk or test your knowledge and possibly take home a prize. Take a carriage ride. For the gentleman there are riding and fly fishing as well as more modern diversions if a whole weekend of Jane is not his cup of tea. Dress in whichever century suits you." If a weekend stay is out of your reach, you can also choose single events to attend.

Living History Association. Established in Wilmington in 1977. Dedicated to civilian and military reenactment of all periods of history (although being in Vermont, they tend to do a lot of War of Independence).


Virginia


Sully Historic Site. Work on the manor house here in Chantilly, Virginia, was begun in 1793, and among the site's events of various periods are several of interest to those interested in the Federal period. Events for 2004 include a War of 1812 Muster in October in which you can drill with troops and learn about early military life, dance to period tunes, sing with the Ships Company Chanteymen, play outdoor games, and see picnic foods prepared in the open-hearth kitchen - all for only $6 per person.

Washington


Seattle English Country Dancing. Dances held every other Friday (not in costume); the annual Cascadia English Country Dance Weekend includes a festive Saturday-night dance for which you are invited to dress up.

West Virginia


Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. An area with a rich history, including the Federalist period (Merriwether Lewis outfitted his expedition at Harpers Ferry in 1803), although 2009 seems to be consumed by the John Brown Raid Sesquicentennial. They're always on the lookout for volunteers - including costumed interpreters.


Wyoming


Green River Rendezvous. Held on the second full weekend in Pinedale in July. "The Green River Rendezvous was originally an annual event where Mountain Men, trappers, travelers, and Indians all gathered in a valley below the green river and bartered, traded, sold, and swapped. It was a time for getting new supplies, renewing acquaintances with old friends, story swapping, drinking and general rowdiness." Now it runs for four days and offers a variety of activities.

Canada


Alberta


The Northwest Brigade Club. Focuses on the living history of the western Canadian fur trade from 1774 to 1821. Has a core group of reenactors in Alberta, but members from across North America benefit from the information in the club's quarterly publication, Northwest Journal.


Manitoba


The Forces of Lord Selkirk. A group of historical reenactors from Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario, Wisconsin, and Minnesota "who portray the soldiers that came with Selkirk as well as civilians of the Red River Settlement of the period 1812-1820." Annual events include a Spring Muster in June at Seven Oaks House, a Regency Dinner and Dance in September, and participation in reenactments at various sites in Canada and the U.S. The group also produces a newsletter.

The Manitoba Living History Society has a new website, yay! It is a community of men, women, and children who share a common enthusiasm in interpreting their heritage. "From the Hudson's Bay Company and the North-West Company of the fur trade, to the years of the Selkirk Settlement, to Lord Woseley's expedition we have portrayed a wide range of personalities in the Red River Valley: fur trades, voyageurs, clerks, country wives, farmers, housewives, soldiers, buffalo hunters...We research and interpret pioneer lifestyle and skills such as spinning, weaving, dyeing, moccasin making, cooking on an open fire, black smithing, woodworking." Events include the annual Red River Rendezvous and much more.


Nova Scotia


The Playford Dancers hold weekly English country dance classes in Dartmouth (ordinary dress) and occasional costumed performances.

Ontario


Queen Charlotte's Birthday Ball is an annual event held in January. A day-long celebration of music, food, and dance, it begins with a symposium focusing on entertaining in the Georgian Era and culminates in a lavish period banquet and ball at Historic Fort York in Toronto. It costs $80 per person, but this includes lectures, a dance workshop, a packet of materials including instructions and recipes, and they'll even let you bunk for the night in the North Soldiers' Barracks, if you apply early! The link above only has listings through 2008, but here is a PDF about the 2009 event, so apparently it's still going. Also listed on this events page.

Battlefield House Museum. Normally has demonstrations of early 19th-century life at this ca.-1796 house, but also holds events including the Winter Frolic (old-fashioned outdoor ice-skating, snowshoeing, and winter games; hot chocolate, cider and cookies) and the 1812 Regency Wedding (following the Wedding, a five-course meal is served by candlelight in the Keeping Room - seating limited to 25).

Crysler's Farm. The Battle of Crysler's Farm, fought on muddy ploughed fields beside the St. Lawrence River on November 11, 1813, was a crucial moment in the history of Upper Canada and marked the end of the most serious attempt to that time to invade Canada. A reenactment of the battle takes place every July at the Battlefield Memorial, complete with plenty of camp followers.

Fort Erie. Various War of 1812 events. Unfortunately the Garrison Ball, which included a formal dinner and ball with a Best Dressed contest, live band, and dance mistress, is defunct. But it sounds like it's just waiting for someone to step in and revive it! Anyone?

Fort George. Become an early-19th-century-reenacting volunteer! "Adults are always welcome to participate in Fort Activities. Learn period blacksmithing, period cooking, sewing, gardening, period drill. We always welcome assistance in co-ordinating our special events."

Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada. According to their website, they are "a family-friendly unit famous for our great hospitality, comfortable (if not necessarily regulation) accomodations, the speed and crispness of our musketry, the sharpness of our drill and the camraderie of our unit! Our members come from across the Toronto area, representing all ages and walks of life. All you need to join is an interest in the War of 1812, a pair of black boots, a white shirt, and eventually an Ontario FAC (Firearms Acquisistion Certificate): we'll outfit you with the kit you need to get started."

Lang Pioneer Village (pictured right). A living-history site covering 1800-1900. Events include military reenactments, hands-on techniques such as blacksmithing, and a Heritage Christmas Celebration.

The Toronto English Country Dancers offer classes and workshops in a variety of dance styles, plus the Pride and Prejudice Ball, complete with pre-ball dance workshop and another on how to make your costume more appropriate - even tips on doing your hair!

Upper Canada Heritage Days. This is the new incarnation of the Faire at the Forks, "the only 19th-century pleasure faire in Canada." It takes place in October at Thamesgrove Conservation Area in Chatham, Ontario, a 26-acre site offering reenactor camping and a period ball. Sutlers and merchants, various entertainments arranged for the public. There was a new website, which is now gone, but the event still seems to be happening; does anyone have a better link?


England


Beamish. An "open-air museum" covering the early 1800s on up. Has ongoing living-history interpretations and many special events.

The Jane Austen Festival at Bath sounds a perfectly wonderful treat. Spend several days in September promenading, dining, and dancing in costume, as well as attending lectures and tours on Austen's work and life in Bath, plus plays and readings. Gentlemen's fashions are covered, too!

Historical Maritime Society. 18th- to 19th-century maritime reenactment, particularly focused on Lord Nelson's time. "We are expanding roles all the time, including civilian roles, so that we can portray various scenaria both on board ship and on the quayside."


The Jane Austen Dancers hold late-Georgian dance workshops twice monthly in Bath, as well as an annual ball in Devizes in September. They can also be hired for performances and teaching at your own event. They were also meeting twice monthly in Bradford-on-Avon, but I can't tell if that's still true.

The Hampshire Jane Austen Dancers hold regular Wednesday rehearsals of country dances, cotillions, and quadrilles. Special events are also offered, some for members only (workshops, walks, picnics) and some open to the public (costumed balls). A demonstration team is available for performances. New members are welcome!

The Salon. A Regency living-history group that exists "to provide costumed entertainment and Regency gossip (largely female as the title suggests!) at historic houses and sites owned by English Heritage. Its members prefer to live a civilised lifestyle discussing latest fashions, scandals, eligible gentlemen and ladies, etc." Past events have included picnics, a meeting at Jane Austen's house in Chawton, and a Regency assembly in London to celebrate the long-awaited recognition of Dr. John Polidori, Byron's physician and creator of the first vampire novel. Contact Miss Natalia Wiecorek, Flat 6, 21-26 Caversahm Street, Chelsea, London SW3 4AE, or call 0441-71-351-3170.


Australia

The Australian Costumers' Guild's events cover a wide range of periods, but have included a Regency picnic at Hyde Park, and a Regency Ball at the Northcote Assembly Rooms in Victoria, which featured a four-course meal, live music, dances including the quadrille, a dance caller, dance cards for the ladies, and a whist and games room.

Earthly Delights is a group that offers music and dance classes and performances from various periods, including an annual Regency ball in the spring. There is also a Victorian festival and ball that actually covers the Australian colonial period going back to the late 1820s, so there's another opportunity for a high-waisted dress!

The 42nd Royal Highland Regiment 1815 "fosters understanding of the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment of the British Army in the period of the Georgian/Napoleonic Wars by means of public education/theatrical representation of a company of that regiment. We are actively seeking more family memberships and involvement in our Association. Our Association prides itself on being a social group as well as being a living history group. Many friendships have been formed amongst members past and present. Don't feel that it is only redcoats and military functions. There are many aspects that we are actively trying to implement to fully represent all aspects of the Georgian Life." Click on "Family" for more on ladies' roles.


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