Renaissance Faire seeks to entertain, educate
Published 10:38 am Wednesday, April 22, 2015
If you choose to wander the fairgrounds this weekend, you might run into Daegin the peasant, with her simple tunic and deep love for history.
That’s because when the Adrian Empire descends upon Courtland this weekend, more than just royalty will be partaking in turkey legs, archery and the ways of the old kingdom.
“I like the simplicity of life back then — the way people were so connected to the land,” said Daegin, who is also known as Dawn Gunn. “You had to carefully manage your resources and grow crops for yourself because there were no grocery stores back then.
“I just love history and literature. What I am hoping is that we will give people a chance to see the way things were done in history, and that will give them a spark to do their own research.”
The Southampton Renaissance Faire gates will open at 10 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday, and close at 5 p.m. Last year, more than 1,300 people were transported back in time through the free event. This year, weather depending, they hope for more.
On Saturday, the event will have jousters reenacting the famous duels between knights. Boy Scouts will also be able to earn a merit badge, as they will be given a quest by the King to become knighted.
Area children produced art work for the faire, which will be on display at the event.
This year, three stages will be set up for entertainers, with several reenactment groups performing, including the belly dancers. The Gypsies will have their own encampment around one of the stages.
There will also be fighting and archery demos; crafts, including a functioning blacksmith; games, such as board games and a jousting quintain. Parents will also have photo opportunities, including with any of the reenactors, the historical items set-up and Michelle Campbell will have a fairy pictures booth set up for children.
Jacqueline Emory had gone a few years in a row and decided she wanted to get more involved. She knew Hillary Gunn from living in the community and approached her about getting involved. This year, she’ll be a court follower for King George the Merciful.
“It was just so much fun,” Emory said. “The time period intrigues me, and besides, it gives me a chance to play dress up.”
“Who doesn’t want to be a pretty princess?” asked Hillary Gunn with a laugh.
The time periods represented goes from the time of Vikings in approximately 800 AD to the death of Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1603.
“We’re always trying to get more people involved in it,” Hillary Gunn said. “It’s just so much fun, and very educational. This area is all about farming and hunting, and that’s wonderful. You can learn a lot about how farming and hunting were done during this period.”
If you find Hillary Gunn, she’ll be Elisabeth Corvinna, the Duchess of Cashel. She’ll be showing off some of the period board games and cheering on her knights and archers, as well as doing some archery demonstrations herself.
“I’ve been involved in reenactments since I was 8 — it’s just been a part of my life forever,” she said, adding that she’s been active with the Southampton County Renaissance Faire for the past few years.
The group started in the Walter C. Rawls Library in Courtland.
“It still astounds me that just seven years ago, the whole thing was just seven people in the children’s room,” Gunn said. “Now it’s a huge get-together.”
Dawn Gunn said folks won’t regret showing up, and getting involved would also be a good experience for them.
“There is so much to do, and so many artisans — you can learn something as simple as making your own clothes or go even further with the crafts,” she said. “It can really inspire you to see that there is another whole world out there, that even as an adult you can still play and learn. I certainly do.”