The journey to STG's THING festival
By Alison Ward, PR & Communications Intern
THING, Seattle Theatre Group's music and arts festival in scenic Port Townsend, WA returns Aug. 26–28, 2022. Created and co-presented by Adam Zacks (founder of the Sasquatch festival), this intimate event features diverse performers and exciting new music to discover. The lineup includes different genres of music, comedy, visual arts, speakers, highlights from STG's signature education and community programs, and more. Featured artists include Jungle, Modest Mouse, Father John Misty, Goose, Sparks, Freddie Gibbs, José González, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Please Don't Destroy and more.
This unique end-of-summer experience begins with a commute of breathtaking views of the lush Olympic region and the Salish Sea.
To get to the THING festival—located in Port Townsend's Fort Worden park—visitors should expect a two-hour trip from Seattle, and three hours from Vancouver, B.C. Depending on if ferries are your thing, the scenic Highway 101 route from Olympia to Tacoma offers festival-goers an easy trip to Port Townsend.
Taking the ferry? Here are the different routes you could consider:
• Seattle to Bainbridge
• Edmonds to Kingston
• Mukilteo to Clinton (Whidbey Island)
• Whidbey Island to Port Townsend (reservations strongly encouraged)
Arlene Alen, executive director of The Chamber of Commerce for Jefferson County says a reservation for both incoming and departing ferry rides are necessary, particularly on weekends.
When you pull up in Port Townsend, rich history and numerous adventures are at your fingertips—even before the THING fun begins.
From hiking and fishing, to exploring bike trails, going sailing or kayaking, or exploring historic hotels, fabulous shops and galleries, Port Townsend has much to offer. It's even designated on the 10 Best USA Today 2022 Small Town Food Scenes.
"Limited mobility isn't a challenge here and our self-guided historic tours of both downtown and uptown are popular with those who drive the tour as well as visitors who bike or walk," Alen said.
Just five minutes away from downtown Port Townsend is Fort Worden State Park, where all the THING fun is set to take place. Originally built as a military base during the turn of the 1900s, the 432-acre park includes 12 miles of hiking, 2 miles of beach access, performance venues, vacation rentals, camping, restaurants and museums.
Take time to explore the town
At THING, attendees have the flexibility to come and go with their entry wristband, and perhaps take advantage of the incredible local culinary scene—just be sure to make a reservation for the restaurant of your choice, said Natalie Maitland, managing director of operations at Fort Worden Hospitality.
"There are many local makers, artists and growers that add so much to the experiences in the community, so move about and discover a hidden gem in the community," Maitland said.
Families visiting Port Townsend can enjoy access to bike rentals, easy hikes, many playgrounds/parks around and more. Before visiting Port Townsend, take a look at reserving a tour on land and water, along with wine, cider and beer tasting for the adults.
Great fun can be had at the Maritime Center and the play area for younger children, as well as exploring the marina, whale watching tours and various boat tours and charters.
"Nearby guided Kayak tours, led by experts, not only are great family fun but educational as well," Alen said. "The jail in the local museum is a don't-miss for families, and the nearby Aero Museum offers hands-on youth-oriented activities, as does the Marine Science Center."
When it comes to deciding where to stay, camping (both tent and RV), are available on the Jefferson County Fairgrounds and can be purchased along with a THING ticket. Port Townsend provides various hotel options at enjoypt.com, along with Airbnb and VRBO alternatives. But when it comes to Port Townsend's friendly residents, beautiful surroundings, historic charm, arts and music, and highly developed farm-to-table food scene, Alen offers a warning:
"Visitors should be aware that if they aren't careful, they will succumb to the magic of Port Townsend and find themselves needing to return again and again."
STG's THING, a 3-day festival of music and arts, takes place August 26–28, 2022 at historic Fort Worden in Port Townsend, WA. For tickets and more information, go to thingnw.org/.