Fort Ross Festival 2018

Saturday July 28: 10 am - 5:30 pm

Get your Eventbrite tickets today!

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 and enjoy an amazing day celebrating different cultures. In addition, with fantastic support from California State Parks, we are bringing back the cannon and militia to this year's celebration! 

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).  

Russian House Kedry generously brings Fort Ross to life during the festival with their traditional Russian folk songs, dances, rituals, games, crafts and baking. Get ready to join in!

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.

The Bay Area folk group Dolina revives traditions of the southern regions of Russia, focusing on authentic folklore singing and dancing. They are proud owners of the museum-worthy peasants costumes from the end of 19th century which they will show to the festival guests. This year the group will sing songs that were recorded in Belgorod and Voronezh regions of Russia and will speak about traditions associated with the summer season.

Su Nu Nu Shinal, which means Huckleberry Heights, are Kashia Pomo and Coast Miwok Native Americans from California who have been performing traditional dance for over 40 years. They will dance in their traditional dance circle on the ocean terrace outside the fort compound. The Kashia were the first people known to have lived in the area that is now Fort Ross, and they continue to live on these lands today.

Storyteller Georgia Churchill

Kitchen -- Walking into the fort from the main entrance you will be greeted by smells of campfire, borscht, and other traditional Russian foods, as our interpretive kitchen volunteers busily prepare, cook, and demonstrate how to make these dishes over an open fire. Traditional Sakha (Native Siberian) pancakes, kitchenware, and utensils will also be on display.

We will be holding our first Borscht Cook-Off! If you have a recipe you’d like to share, bring a pot of borscht and see how your borscht compares to others in the competition and win some prizes!   Details for entry here.
Local Crafts Marketplace

Kashia Pomo Jewelry

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.

Tug-of-war - good old fashioned fun!

Alaska Native

Haida Dancers

Weaving and Gut Sewing with June Pardue

June Pardue was born and raised in the Kodiak Island village of Old Harbor where she began weaving at age 15. She has baskets in permanent collections at the Alutiiq Museum, Baranof Museum, Sheldon Jackson Museum, and the Alaska Native Heritage Center. June has demonstrated the fine art of weaving at New York’s United Nations and at the Smithsonian's Institute of Master Artist, and we are pleased to welcome her to Fort Ross Festival. She is also an accomplished skin sewer and has perfected the master art of waterproof stitching sea mammal skin. June enjoys beading and creating tasteful jewelry, weaving and sewing. June was nominated as a “Cultural Bearer” at the Awaking Bear Festival in Kodiak.

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 yearWe’ll have a wide variety of beers from each brewer, from hoppy IPAs to rich, rosty Stouts.   

All profits from the Beer Garden go to support Fort Ross Conservancy’s Education Fund, bringing underserved school groups to Fort Ross for our Marine Ecology Program and Environmental Living Program.



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. We’re also thrilled to welcome back the incredible flavors of homemade, award-winning, small batch ice cream from Nimble & Finn's. More food vendors will be announced shortly!




Marine Ecology Program Food Booth!

Borscht, Russian salad, pickles, tea cakes