Rain doesn’t dampen Renaissance Faire
Published 7:16 pm Friday, May 1, 2015
Planning an event in April has an equal chance of it being a breezy, perfect-temperature stroll in the park, or an outright slog through mud and rain. For Southampton County Renaissance Faire organizers, it was closer to the latter, but they held their heads up high, and by Sunday afternoon the sun peeked through the clouds to reward them.
“The sun is trying to come out,” laughed one of the organizers, Garrett Peirsa of Courtland, as he turned to see a few rays on his staff and tunic. “We’ve had a really good turnout considering the weather, and everyone is having fun — volunteers and visitors. And very importantly, things have been running smoothly and on time this year.”
Dallas Moreland of Ivor and his family were enjoying some of the crafts vendors as the sun started to shine through.
“They really wanted a sword,” he said of his three girls, as two of them were sparring and another was checking out the fur tails at the stall. “This reminds me of the Scots-Irish festival that I used to go to. We all are all really enjoying it.
“My favorite part is the singing,” Moreland added.
Not far away under the fairground’s center pavilion, the Alleyn Apprentice Players out of Charlotte, North Carolina, were doing their thing with song and dance. The children’s performance group had adopted two Southampton County residents, Heaven Campbell, 9, and Princess Joclyn Sadler, 10, the daughter of King George the Merciful.
In absence of the King, it was the young Princess they were performing for, as of course she could have the heads of the peasants and pirate’s daughter.
“Children, today you stand in the presence of grace and majesty,” said Lord Caldwell Alleyn, aka Chip Caldwell. “Who are you?”
“The Alleyn Apprentice Players!”
“What is your Motto?”
“Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati!”
“What does that mean?”
“When all else fails, play dead!”
Unfortunately, Rogue Killian O’Possum, their mascot, had shed his mortal coil. But he was there in spirit and fur. After drinking a round of Lady Harrogate’s Cream Ale for Children — full of vitamins and nutrients — the children too shed their earthly lives with a bout of the plague.
“You are not getting out of the show that easy! Stand up,” Alleyn demanded.
As the children took to the tops of the picnic tables in performance, Baron Aradd, aka Rich Stryker with the Society for Creative Anachronism, was teaching a Boy Scout about methods of war during the medieval era. They were on a mission from the King to earn a merit badge.
Blake Bay, 8, and his brother Evan, 5, were looking over the bows, swords and daggers.
“The dagger is good because you can swing it before they are able to come at you,” Evan said about the speed of the weapon.
“I really like the bow,” Blake added. “It’s cool to see what they really look like. It’s a weapon I use in [the video game] Minecraft.”
Mike Blythe, who chaired the event, was bummed about the weather, but he thought things were looking up.
“The people are having fun, and I’ve talked to the vendors and they are doing well,” Blythe said. “That’s what we want, so I’d say it is going quite well.
“We really gear this toward educating people, on what they did during this period and why they did it. There are a lot of demos going on, including the fighting. And while they are fighting, they are teaching.”
With the sounds of flex steel banging against another flex steel sword, the largest crowd of the day gathered around the fighting pit.
The sun managed to carve a large enough space out of the clouds that blue skies could be seen overhead and the wind provided some relief to the man in plate armor, who said dehydration and heat were more dangerous than any one enemy with a sword. But then two peasants barely armored were able to swarm him and land a “killing” blow.
Blythe added with a smile, “Everyone really is having a good time.”