It’s going to be a beautiful fall weekend. Time to get out and about. There is a lot going on in Olde Towne Portsmouth this weekend. If you haven’t crossed the river in awhile, take the Elizabeth River Ferry (cheap for grown-ups, free for kids), https://gohrt.com/services/ferry/
or bite the bullet and pay the toll. Come to my side of the river. You’ll be glad you did.
The City of Portsmouth’s Department of Museums and The Olde Towne Business Association are co-hosting the 2nd Annual Museum Day on Saturday, October 6 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm in historic downtown Portsmouth.
This event is not just about museums, although all of Portsmouth’s Museums will be open and some will be free for the day. It’s really about showcasing Portsmouth’s new Cultural Arts District, that stretches from the Elizabeth River Ferry landing at the foot of High Street up High Street past the gorgeous Commodore Theater and the Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center to some unique shops, like Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Art Gallery https://www.facebook.com/skipjacknw/
and Anderson-Wright Rooms & Gardens and off to adjoining streets and charming neighborhoods.
I wrote about this Portsmouth initiative just about a year ago https://altdaily.com/destination-p-town-portsmouth-promotes-new-arts-and-cultural-district/. The city and the great people of Portsmouth have come together to celebrate the arts and culture of P-town.
If you haven’t been to Portsmouth in awhile, you’re going to be surprised. Olde Towne is bustling with old and new shops, restaurants, breweries and galleries. Copper & Oak Craft Sprits on High Street https://www.facebook.com/copperandoakcs/
was recently voted one of the “Best In Virginia” by Virginia Living Magazine. Antique furniture and reclaimed farmhouse windows run the length of the tasting room, giving visitors a view into the distilling process. Tours will be offered every hour on Saturday. The tasting room will feature an exhibit from local artist Ross Brookes.
Many other shops and galleries in Olde Towne will feature music, art exhibits, and art demonstrations throughout the day. For a complete listing, go to https://oldetowneportsmouth.com/events/museum-day-historic-olde-towne-portsmouth/
Bring your basket, because Saturday is also the day for one of the best farmer’s markets around, The Olde Towne Farmers Market. https://www.facebook.com/Portsmouth-Olde-Towne-Farmers-Market-106639089426039/
It is right in front of the beautiful Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center http://portsmouthartcenter.com
at the corners of High Street and Court Street. The Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center will be open and free. The Rhythm Project All Stars will be playing, local artist Emily Williams will be creating hot glass sculptures, you can get a glitter tattoo and the Gail Hart Dance Studio will perform, all in the shaded courtyard of the Art and Cultural Center.
Inside the Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center, local quilters from the 54-40 Quilters Guild will demonstrate their work, much of which will be display in the current exhibit To Have & Behold. Don’t miss the Art Annex Gallery Shop adjacent to the Art and Cultural Center.
There will be all kinds of family friendly activities and exhibits. The Railroad Museum of Virginia http://www.railroadmuseumofvirginia.com has a great model train collection and a couple of big engines outside. They will be having a Hobo Jamboree on Saturday, complete with Hobo Stew.
Local artists will be competing for $750 in prizes in a Plein-air painting contest. The artists will be out and about Olde Towne, painting outside.
There will be free music all around Olde Towne. The Middle Street pedestrian mall right beside the Children’s Museum of Virginia http://childrensmuseumvirginia.com
will feature the Olde Towne Arts and Music Children’s Chorus from 11:00-11:30, followed by Corey Staten with a drumming demonstration at noon.
There will be free tours of many of the historic landmarks in Portsmouth. The Commodore Theatre http://www.commodoretheatre.com/index.php
is a “luxuriously” restored 1945 Art Deco theater that continues to offer first run films. They will be offering tours at 11:30 and noon.
Many of the historic churches will be open for tours. Trinity Episcopal Church on High Street was built in 1752 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They will have an organ demonstration at noon. St. Paul’s Catholic Church, built in1905, Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, founded in 1792, First Lutheran Church, founded in 1908, and St. John’s Episcopal Church, built in 1897 will all be open for tours.
The Portsmouth Mounted Patrol will be on hand for horse petting and some unique photo ops. The Olde Towne Portsmouth Antiques to Flea Market will have over 75 vendors set up and willing to bargain in the County Street Garage. Wheels on the Water Custom Car Show, a free event, will be held at the Union Bank & Trust Pavilion from 11 am – 4 pm
There will be free shuttle service, provided by the Olde Towne Courtesy Shuttle. Parking is always free on the weekends in Portsmouth, both on the street and in the city garages. Maps of all the activities will be available at participating locations. This is only a sampling of what will be happening in Olde Towne Portsmouth this Saturday, for a complete list, go to https://oldetowneportsmouth.com/events/museum-day-historic-olde-towne-portsmouth/