Faire fun

Posted: Thursday, May 22, 2003

It was an affair to remember, a May Faire that is, as peninsula residents turned back a page in history in Old Town Kenai on Sunday.

It was all part of the second annual May Faire Renaissance Banquet and Festival put on by the Kenai River Council on the Arts.

"I've never seen anything like it," said Kathy Musick. "A friend invited me and it sounded like fun, and it has been."

In the Kenai Fine Arts Center a pub served, mead, ale and beer for those with a taste for spirits.

In the same building, people also perused a variety of large steins and other clay crafts designed by the pottery guild that fit the Middle Age theme.

Outside merchants and vendors displayed their wares, such as renaissance clothes, furs and handmade crafts. There was also a hair braiding booth.

Of course modern currency didn't exist then, so there were booths available to exchange cash for gold and silver coins to purchase items.

Strolling minstrels, poets and jugglers performed and goats, and a horse moved throughout the crowd led by fair damsels and gentle men dressed in costume.

"I really liked the sword fight," said Musick, referring to the feats of arms put on by the Society for Creative Anachronism. "The costumes are great."

Ben Stevens, also known as Lord Gunnar, was dressed in in nearly full armor. His opponent was Corby Hawkins, also known as Lord Leod.

With loud clanks and bellowing roars the two did battle to the cheers of the crowd. Unlike the theatrical battles put on by some renaissance groups, these two did recreation fighting, and a few bumps and bruises were common.

After the fight, the two warriors answered questions and told tales of some of their fiercest victories and most disparaging defeats. They also let children try on their helmets, and swing their shields and swords.

Stevens said that being a part of the event was fun, but that there are also serious morals at the heart of it.

"It's a lot of fun, but you also learn a lot positive things from doing this like honor, chivalry and good virtues things that apply to both the SCA and also real life," he said.

Anne Young, also known as Annora De Mont Fort of Shadowood, agreed with Stevens.

"There's a lot of learning about history and anthropology inv-olved in doing this kind of thing. You want things to be as authentic to the period as they can be," she said.

After the dual, festivities continued as the Mud-Bay Madrigals played Celtic music for the crowd.

Children also decorated a May pole with brightly colored streamers to ring in spring.

In the evening the May Faire ended with a repast fit for nobility catered by Mykel's of Soldotna.

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