Saturday July 28: 10 am - 6:30 pm
Looking for the perfect way to celebrate Summer in Sonoma County? Join us on July 28th for Fort Ross Festival! Where else can you witness Kashia Pomo ceremonial dancing, sing along to Americana Swing, learn from Alaska Native craftspeople, and take in traditional Russian performances, all together on the most beautiful stretch of the Sonoma coast? Grab a pint from our Beer Garden (closes at 5:30 pm) and enjoy an amazing day celebrating different cultures. Back by popular demand, join the Fort Ross Militia for historic firearms demonstrations, and have a BLAST at Fort Ross!
(Subject to change)
10-5 Fort Ross Visitor Center Bookshop, museum, films & displays.
10-4 Fort Compound crafts, music, dance, cooking & more from the Russian, Alaska Native & Kashia communities
10-4 Fort Ross Marketplace (handmade traditional crafts & art) in the Fort Compound
10-12 Harbor Seal Interpretation (above Fort Ross Cove, opposite Call Picnic Area)
11-4 Marine Mammal & Fur Trade Interpretation (Fur Warehouse)
11-5:30 International Food Bazaar (Call Picnic Area)
11-5:30 Beer Garden (Call Picnic Area)
12-4 Horse & Carriage ride (free!) between Windmill & Fort Compound
10-4 Pomona & Dog Port CSP Display/Presentation
Schedule of Events
10:00 Divine Service – St. Nicholas Cathedral, San Francisco (Chapel)
11:00 Russian Orthodox Procession to the cemetery & Panikhida
11:00 Bell Ringing, Victor Avdienko, Bell Ringer & Percussionist, SF Symphony (Chapel)
11:00 Story Time (in Russian & English) - with Marina Pavlova - Outside Rotchev House
11:00 Windmill presentation
11:00 Tea with the Rotchevs (Rotchev House)
11:45 Zabavushka – Children's Slavic Folk Ensemble (Fur Warehouse)
12:00 Black Powder & Cannon Demonstration
12:30 First Annual Fort Ross Borscht Cook-Off (Fort Compound Kitchen)
12:30 San Francisco Balalaika Ensemble (Fur Warehouse)
1:00 Slavyanka Chorus – Sacred songs (Fort Ross Chapel)
1:00 Tea with the Rotchevs (Rotchev House)
1:00 Storytelling - with Georgia Churchill
1:00 Fort Ross History and Trade Presentation (Fur Warehouse)
1:15 Kedry – Traditional Russian games & circle dances (Fort Compound)
1:45 Kitka – Balkan, Slavic & Caucasian Harmonies (Fur Warehouse)
1:45 Traditional Games (MAS wrestling, tug-of-war, etc.) - (Inside fort, SE corner)
2:00 Story Time (in Russian & English) - with Marina Pavlova - Outside Rotchev House
2:00 История Форта Росс и морского промысла (Fur Warehouse)
2:10 Dolina: Traditions, Songs & Costumes of Southern Russia (Rotchev House)
2:30 Bell Ringing, Victor Avdienko, Bell Ringer & Percussionist, SF Symphony (Chapel)
2:45 San Francisco Balalaika Ensemble (Fur Warehouse)
3:00 Black Powder & Cannon Demonstration
3:20 Slavyanka Chorus – Russian folk, patriotic & Cossack songs (Fur Warehouse)
3:45 Kitka – Balkan, Slavic & Caucasian Harmonies (Fur Warehouse)
4:00 Windmill Presentation
4:10 Kedry – Traditional Russian village dances (Fort Compound)
4:30 Su Nu Nu Shinal – Kashia Pomo Dancers (Marine Terrace)
5:30 Beer sales close
6:30 Festival ends
Performers in the Compound
San Francisco Balalaika Ensemble keeps traditional alive by performing Russian, Ukrainian, Russian Roma (Gypsy), and Crimean Tatar music in a traditional folk instrument orchestra of balalaikas, domras, bayan (Russian button accordion), zhaleika/brelka (Russian reed pipes) and sopilka (Ukrainian flute).
East Bay women’s vocal arts ensemble Kitka is inspired by traditional songs and vocal techniques from Eastern Europe. Their exquisite harmonies resonate as if energized by the universe itself. Special thanks to the California Arts Council for supporting Kitka's performances at Fort Ross.
Slavyanka Chorus brings their rich program of Russian sacred and folk music to Fort Ross, where we’ll hear ancient church music from Russia’s past sung in the Chapel…and wild Cossack songs in the yard! Don’t miss this wonderful choral group, a long standing tradition of Fort Ross Festival.
Storyteller Georgia Churchill
For 26 years Georgia Churchill has been telling oral tradition tales from many cultures to people from ages 3 to 101. Studying mime, improv, various dramatic philosophies/techniques, and voice have taught her to bring the stories to life. The actual telling of the tales has taught her how best to engage her audience.
Local Crafts Marketplace
- Kashia Pomo Jewelry
- Beautiful handmade brooms by Melinda Napier
- Matryoshka - Russian/Eastern European style dolls and other gifts and souvenirs by Elena Gabriel
- Paintings from Valeriy Kagounkin and Tamara Magdalina, Permanent Honorable “Academic” Members of the Russian Art Academy.
- Felted goods by Stefany Perlman
Hands-On Crafts Demonstrations
Settlement Ross was one of the first industrial centers of California, and many skilled craftspeople were hard at work building California’s first ships, windmills, clay bricks, barrels, and much more. At Festival you can watch coopers, spinners, carpenters, woodworkers, and many others skilled craftspeople busily preparing their wares, reminiscent of the Fort Ross era when they traded with the Spanish, Mexicans or Bostonians. Try your hand at making rope, weaving a mini-basket, or rolling a candle.
Nigilax build by Marc Daniels
Mobile Marine Education Van (the Steward Ship) will be outside the fort compound offering videos, interpretive displays, skulls, pelts, and bones for visitors to touch and feel.
Call Picnic Area Activities
Grab a Pint at our 5th Annual Beer Garden!
Fort Ross Festival’s Beer Garden, with its incredible front row seat to the Pacific Ocean, offers a great variety of delicious food and cold beverages for you to enjoy while listening to live Americana music. We are thrilled to have the continued support from local North Coast Brewing Company and Lagunitas Brewing Co., and happy to add Bear Republic Brewing Co. to our list this year. We’ll have a wide variety of beers from each brewer, from hoppy IPAs to rich, roasty Stouts.
All profits from the Beer Garden go to support Fort Ross Conservancy’s Education Fund, bringing under-served school groups to Fort Ross for our Marine Ecology Program and Environmental Living Program.
Call Picnic Area Music
International Food Bazaar
Choose from a wonderful variety of local vendors in our International Food Bazaar! Try traditional Russian borscht and piroshki from Russian House #1 in Jenner, slow smoked BBQ with fresh coleslaw from BBQ Smokehouse Bistro & Catering, or for a taste of India check out Lata’s curries and samosas paired with a mango lassi or chai tea. Warm up with a hot espresso from Subconcious Coffee. We’re also thrilled to welcome back the incredible flavors of homemade, award-winning, small batch ice cream from Nimble & Finn's and the Metini Native Cultural Foundation food booth.
Youth Education Food Booth!
Grab a bowl of borscht to support Fort Ross Conservancy’s Marine Ecology and Environmental Living Programs! Complete your meal by adding on a salad, pickled egg, and traditional Russian tea cookies! Profits from the Salad Booth Go to our Fort Ross Conservancy Education Fund. Fort Ross Conservancy’s education programs offer wonderful opportunities for youth to learn about local marine ecology and history at Fort Ross. Thank you to Andy’s Produce Market, Oliver’s Markets, and Costco for generously donating ingredients!