It’s time to party in Queens like it’s 1799!

King Manor Museum hosts the fourth annual Traditions Festival from Friday, June 28, through Sunday, June 30, and from noon to 4 p.m. on all three days.

The idea is to experience life in the 18th century, when the King family lived in the now-restored Jamaica mansion and surrounding property. Trained — and appropriately dressed with bonnets, breeches and petticoats — historic interpreters will lead such activities as blacksmithing, broom-making, down-hearth cooking, loom-weaving and spinning.

But this is Queens in 2019. So other appropriately dressed hosts will offer workshops on Filipino calligraphy, Mexican dressmaking and Korean cooking. (True to its name, the festival mixes the traditions of the borough’s rural Yankee past with those of its multi-ethnic present. Plus, visitors get to meet the artisans, ask questions and make crafts.)

Attendance is free.

Currently, King Manor is a museum on an 11-acre public property called “Rufus King Park” in the vicinity of 89th Avenue and 153rd Street in Jamaica. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1974, the three-story, three-chimney house museum hosts everything from school groups to concerts to swearing-in ceremonies for new citizens.

Rufus King — the youngest signer of the United States Constitution, a senator, an ambassador to Great Britain and a candidate for president — and his descendants lived there from 1805 to 1896. They were farmers who raised livestock and grew apples, barley, corn, peaches, potatoes, strawberries and wheat. The family was also active in the abolition movement, and they hired salaried workers instead of owning slaves at a time when slavery was legal in the northern United States.

Images: King Manor Museum


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