A 21st century state of the art pavilion will be transported back to 18th century America when the annual Whiskey Rebellion Festival returns to downtown Washington July 7th through the 10th.
“Having a permanent community gathering place has been one of the visions we’ve worked toward since the beginning of the festival” said festival co-chair Tripp Kline. “Celebrating our unique place in American history has always been the central element, but having a permanent location has really solidified this event in our region.” Kline said.
The festival now in its sixth year commemorates the rebellion of western Pennsylvania farmers against a tax on grain used to produce whiskey and other spirits. The tax was the brainchild of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton as a way to raise revenue to pay off revolutionary war debt.
The overwhelming popularity of the Broadway show Hamilton isn’t lost on festival organizers. “Along with our usual street theatre and historic re-enactments Alexander Hamilton will be making a visit to Washington just as he did in the 18th century” said Kline.
Along with the historical aspects of the celebration the festival is also renowned for the caliber of musical talent that appears over three days of the event. “From the beginning we’ve been very proud of the performers we’ve been able to attract and this year is no different” said Lee Stivers the festival’s music coordinator. “We’ve been fortunate to draw not only artists who are up and coming but also industry legends.”
This year’s lineup includes blues superstar Phil Wiggins and the Chesapeake Sheiks and one of the hottest bands on the bluegrass scene The Travelin’ McCourys. The festival opens with a performance by The Washington Symphony Orchestra and the Festival Chorale.
The festival also offers a variety of food vendors, activities at the Washington Park fort site with free transportation offered by Freedom transit, a children’s area, events at the LeMoyne house and David Bradford house and of course spirits at the Blue Eagle tavern.
The festival will be extended again this year to include the Classics on Main car show Sunday July 10th.
For information and a complete schedule of events visit www.whiskeyrebellionfestival.com.