Louisville loves it some Jane Austen.
For the past seven years Locust Grove has hosted what has become the largest Jane Austen Festival in North America. In fact, we’ve got the second largest Jane Austen Festival in the world! And this year, the fine folks at the Jane Austen Festival are trying to break a Guinness Book of World Records record for the largest gathering of attendees in Regency attire.
Yes, there’s actually a World Record for that, and it belongs to the festival in Bath, England.
What can one do at the Jane Austen Festival?
• Daily four-course Afternoon Teas $20 per person
• Silent auction of Regency-era items and Jane Austen memorabilia
• Children’s tea on Sunday afternoon at the last tea time. Children ages 4-12 are invited to attend with an adult and have their own special menu, a Regency-themed craft project, and take home their own pretty cup and saucer. Children’s tea admission is $15.00, adults $20.
• “The Shoppes of ‘Meryton’” featuring vendors who specialize in Regency-era wares such as fabric, clothing, shoes, bonnets, patterns, jewelry, tea sets, tea and much more!
• New this year: Punch & Judy marionette show
• Friday evening Twilight Shopping from 6-9 p.m. with Kentucky inspired food and drink for sale, plus music & entertainment under the Big Top Tent
• The Regency Promenade on Saturday: An optional $1 registration fee is requested, which will be donated to the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton, England.
• Engage with the crew of the HMS Acasta, members of His Majesty’s Royal Navy, who will demonstrate the real lives of sailors as they go about their business, i.e. signal ﬂag demo, playing cricket, sextant demos and more.
• A Regency men’s club called the “Hellﬁre Club” and “The Earl of Sandwich” snack
• Fair Wynds entertains with musical glasses, ﬁre breathing, and other games known in the 1700s and 1800s England.
• “Dressing Mr. Darcy,” a lecture on Regency style for men
• Regency Style fashion show
• Professor John Mullan, University College London, will speak about his latest book, “What Matters in Jane Austen?”
• Jo Baker, author of “Longbourn,” will discuss her book, which is “Pride & Prejudice” told from the Bennet family’s servants’ perspectives.
• A lacemaker will demonstrate bobbin lace making.
• A Grand Ball will take place on Saturday, July 19, in conjunction with the local English Country Dance Society at Spalding University. Advance reservation required ($20 per person) and not included with festival admission.
• Workshops will be offered:
- Breast knot corsages
- Regency hair styles
- Regency gentlemen’s clothing
- Paper marbling
This year’s festival is July 18-20. Admission is $5 Friday only; one-day pass $12, two-day pass $20, and children 12 and under are free. Admission (except Friday evening) includes access to the ca. 1790 Locust Grove, a National Historic Landmark.
The Greater Louisville Region of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) was founded in July of 2007. They meet monthly at Locust Grove. To purchase tickets for workshops, the ball, afternoon tea and admission, visit www.jasnalouisville.com.