Yard sale to raise funds for Faire

Published 11:16 am Friday, November 2, 2012


COURTLAND—Time travel is not free.

That’s why members of the Southampton Renaissance Faire are holding a yard sale starting 7 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at 2242 Linden St., Courtland. The event is the first fundraiser for the educational organization, which is devoted to recreating many aspects of the Middle Ages in Europe.

“Our goal is to take visitors to our event back in time, to a long-forgotten age of chivalry and mighty castles, knights in shining armor, eloquent playwrights, courtly love, and ancient legends,” said co-founder Garrett A. Piersa, who’s hosting the sale at his home.

“We want to raise as much money as possible,” said Amy Lehman, who serves as queen. “We have to pay certain entertainers to come in. We try to be as fiscally responsible as we can, and get the best quality performers we can.”

Money is also needed to buy materials for children’s crafts and activities, props, costumes, decorations and even portable toilets. All these will be needed for the next Faire, scheduled 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 13 at the Walter Cecil Rawls Library and Museum on Main Street in Courtland.

The Friends of the Rawls Library, which sponsors the festival since it got started in 2009, gave $550 this past spring. The Faire wants to become more self-sufficient, said Lehman. The group is also seeking 501(c)3 Educational Non-profit status.

“Everyone on the committees is donating items to sell,” she said. “We should have clothing, children’s toys, music CDs and household items. Who knows what people are going to dig out of their attics.”

Her Majesty explained that she gained her title through working as a liaison between children and the Faire.

“My team pressured me. I said I would do it only if I could be nobility. They said, ‘You can be queen if you want.’ I enjoy the day and playing the role,” she said.

Piersa said his visit to the Virginia Renaissance Faire in summer 2008 was an inspiration for what would become the county’s Faire.

“While I loved the event, I did not want to travel so far to go to one. One day in class, the idea hit me,” he said.

Talking first with Ardith Ohka, the library’s Youth Programs director at that time, Piersa then made some phone calls. With work and volunteers, “the Courtland Renaissance Faire was born.”

The success of the first event in February 2009 has grown to what will be the fifth Faire next spring. The name changed to reflect the activity’s growth.

Piersa stressed that the Faire wouldn’t exist without the volunteers from the Society for Creative Anachronism, as well as the Adrian Empire, Friends of the Rawls Library, and other community members.

Lehman said open auditions for local people of all ages would be held in January.

“We’re looking for people who have talents and skills related to the Renaissance. Juggling, stilt walking, anything you can come up with. Do your own research,” she said.

For the next Faire, one of the planned children’s activities is for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to earn patches related to the event.

“It’s more of an educational slant,” said Lehman. “Which ties in very nicely with the mission of the library.”

In addition to vendors, displays of armor, gowns and thrones, there’ll be an archery tournament and live sword fighting.

Her Majesty is also inviting couples that might want to wed in the style of the time.

For more information, visit www.southamptonfaire.com