Seven different workshops are available at this weekend’s ninth annual Jane Austen Festival designed to teach you Regency skills and beauty secrets that will help you learn how to be an Austen-era sophisticate. Whether it’s upping your handwriting or letter-writing game or learning how to properly powder and pomade your hairdo and makeup, you can come away from the fest with more than just good memories.
Each of the classes charges a fee on top of festival entry, and most of them send you home with supplies so you can keep practicing your art.
- A two-hour master class in Regency beauty that includes both hair and makeup and a box of period-typical beauty supplies.
- A class in handmaking a reticule — a string purse made of netting.
- Individual classes on period hair and makeup.
- A class on stringing your own pearls (it costs a whopping $100, but you get all the supplies including Swarovski pearls).
Workshops are just a small part of the largest Jane Austen Festival in the country. There are academic lectures on the author and her time period, bare-knuckle boxing demonstrations, duels, reenactments of historical events and a whole “village” of shops (shoppes).
This year will have a special focus on the traditions of Regency-era mourning, as 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of Austen’s death. Organizers will attempt to set a “Guinness Book of World Records” feat by holding the largest mourning procession at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
One highlight is the annual Grand Ball on Saturday at Spalding University. There is a practice session available on Friday night if you want to familiarize yourself with dances popular during that time.
Of course, you don’t have to go full-on Regency attire to attend — the festival promises to be quite the event for people-watching. It starts Friday, July 14, and continues through Sunday, July 16. Tickets are available online. Locust Grove is located at 561 Blankenbaker Lane.