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Upcoming Fort Nisqually Living History Museum Events

May 19

Queen Victoria's Birthday

Saturday, May 19 (11:00am - 5:00pm)

Relive the festive 19th century celebrations surrounding a royal holiday.

A merry mood permeates the Fort on this occasion. At noon, bagpipes announce the start of the traditional tributes to the queen. The pipes are followed by a musket volley, toasts to the queen, and a cannon salute.

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, and enjoy performances.

At noon, bagpipes will announce the start of the traditional tributes to the Queen, including a musket volley, cannon salute, and toasts from the Fort’s finely dressed gentlemen.

At 1 p.m. guests will be treated to a performance by the Chief Leschi Elementary, Puyallup Tribal School Drum & Dance Group. These 4th and 5th graders will share some of their coastal cultural teachings through songs and dances from the Puyallup Tribe.

The Tacoma Scottish Country Dancers will be on hand to perform traditional 19th century social dances and teach visitors the steps to favorites like “Strip the Willow.” 

Throughout the day, visitors can barter with clerks in the Sale Shop and watch the blacksmiths working at the forge.  The public is invited to join a round of croquet, trundle a hoop, or engage in a spirited game of graces. There will be tea, lemonade, and cookies while supplies last.

The birthday of Queen Victoria (May 24, 1819-1901) was celebrated by her subjects throughout the British Empire. At Hudson’s Bay Company forts across North America, the custom historically called for the declaration of the day as a holiday — all the laborers and servants had the day off.

Queen Victoria ascended the throne in 1837 and was the reigning monarch for most of Fort Nisqually's active period (1833-1869). She ruled for almost 64 years, and was the longest-reigning British monarch  until 2007 when Queen Elizabeth claimed that distinction.

Event admission is $8-$10, children 3 and younger are free. For more information visit or call (253) 404-3970.

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