Sunday, October 5, 2008
My friend Rich invited us to join him and his family for a trip out to Carver, to see a medieval-themed fair and reenactment. Having too much to do Saturday morning, we weren't able to leave early enough to make the two-plus hour trip. But the idea intrigued me, so we left about 1:30 pm for a similar event I had read about, only an hour away in Hebron Connecticut.
Set the Wayback Machine to Medieval Times, for the 10th annual Connecticut Rennaissance Faire. It's going on every weekend through October 19th, and Columbus Day. We arrived about 3 o'clock...
It was my first time at one of these events. The fairgrounds were alive with the sights, sounds and smells of burning wood, ancient musical instruments, and barkers selling weapons and wares in old English dialect. I knew when the guy at the ticket booth referred to us as 'My Lord and Lady', we were in for something different this afternoon...
Characters filled the marketplace; mixed and mingled with fair-goers. Care to purchase a raccoon skin, from a partially insane hunch-back..?
Mime's usually get a bad rap from the public, but I've always enjoyed watching them.
Musicians filled the marketplace with melodies.
Some of them unfortunately had to work weekends.
The beautiful day brought out common folk of all stripes.
We witnessed a prince's marriage, and saw how the upper half lives...
To be fair, we also mingled with the peasantry, who are forever mucking about in their filth.
Everywhere people were honing their battle skills.
You never know when these skills might come in handy.
The Scots had the crowd engaged in axe throwing competitions.
Oh but verily, the best part of the faire for me and Kelly, was the Joust.
In the early jousting, though taking some brutal hits herself, the valiant Fiona refused to yield, and finally trounced Sir Delvin, fair and square.
But then a peasant loyal to Delvin came out of the crowd, and taunted Fiona, striking her with a stick, this brought a fiery reprisal from the maiden warrior. A skirmish ensued, and Sir Delvin had to save the poor peasant. Enraged at Fiona's lack of chivalry in attacking a helpless peasant, Delvin had no choice but to save the King's honour, and challenge Fiona, to a Joust of War...
An angry Fiona accepts the challenge (the viking standing next to me was really into it)...
Oh. It's on...
They retired to their camps, to return again in about an hour and a half. We spent the interim with a tour of the grounds. The Gypsies were selling their wares, which is to say, themselves.
We had something to eat, then watched a show of comedy and arms, at an outside theater.
It was now time to head back to the arena and find a seat, for the promised Joust of War. The 'referee' came out on his horse first, and rehashed with crowd the challenge that was laid down and it's reasons. The combatants burst back into the ring, in full battle gear and itching for a fight. The crowd cheered madly in anticipation.
After a testing of the battle ground, in which each side ran around the field, and warmed up by scooping up rings with their poles at high speed, the taunting, insults and rebuttals ensued. The crowd was by now whipped up into a frothy stew of cheers, boos and hisses for their respective sides, after every statement and challenge.
The reenactors' enthusiasm and their realistic no-holds-barred portrayals and dialogue was infectious; we were on Fiona's side of the arena and couldn't help but get into it ourselves, supporting her every word and action with mad cheering.
It was a fast paced and fierce battle, starting with some six jousts in row, one would happen on one side of the field, they'd grab fresh poles on the fly, and immediately attack again on the other side...
Equally matched and unable to force a decision, and after more dark taunts, out came the swords.
Alas, our valiant Fiona was struck, and thrown off her horse. But showing the true measure of a warrior, she immediately got up and faced off still, against her still-mounted opponent.
Unable to finish her off, Sir Delvin soon dismounted and the final face-off ensued.
It was a battle of heroes, but one had to fall. Alas, it was our valiant heroine. Sir Delvin had won the day.
It was a fun time at the faire. The characters' throughout the day gave great performances. We couldn't help but get immersed in the spirit of the faire, as the reenactors would engage you in some old world chatter or joke as you'd walk along. They're all volunteers, doing this for the love of it, and most dressed and played their parts well. Some were a little more ridiculous than others. For some reason when I saw this guy on our way out, I began to laugh uncontrollably. Kelly tried to get me to calm down, but began laughing hysterically herself. We stumbled out of there wiping tears from our eyes.
We didn't mean to laugh; but the laughter just burst out, triggered by the guy in the dragon pajama suit. It was really just tired giddiness and the culmination of a fun time...I hope he understood...
Topics: State Of Connecticut