Scarborough Faire, April 2008

My friend Lisa at work is engaged to a knight. No, not an Order of the Garter knight, but a really nice guy named Bryan who runs a jousting company called Noble Cause Productions. They travel between regional Renaissance Fairs and similar events and put on jousting demonstrations. Since this job keeps Bryan on the road most of the summer, Lisa likes to travel to see him when he’s close enough. Since they’re in Scarborough Fair right now, just a few hours up the road from here, she went up this weekend. I like that fair so I asked to tag along and split the gas.

We got there late at night on Friday and I set up my cot in “the clubhouse”, a big wooden shed where I slept with three other guys.

Wait, that came out wrong. Well, you get the idea – it was a little cramped, but a step up from primitive camping in a tent. The clubhouse had a small wall AC unit that made both nights quite nice. It was in one corner of the yard behind a big castle facade that marks the back of the jousting field. Kind of like sleeping backstage at a big production of Macbeth, except the ground was grass and mud, and there were horses and dogs hanging around as well as the actors.

Saturday morning, I staggered out and wandered around the pre-show fair grounds and found a vendor who opens early to serve coffee and pastries to the folks who work the fair. I should have gotten the name of the lady who ran that stand – she was very nice, and figures into this story later.

Fortified by coffee (sweet, life-giving caffeine!) I went back to the knight’s area and put together my camera. Over the course of the day, I knit a foot or so on the one-row scarf that I’ve been working on (featured in previous post) and snapped a few pictures of the funky fair-goers. I ran into Coby, one of my co-workers, and his girlfriend and we watched the Hey Nunnie Nunnie show, which always makes me guffaw. I also saw all three jousting shows. I’d never seen one of their shows before and it was really, really cool – the three shows are a progression where they start off doing jousting tricks, like lancing a ring held up by a squire, then lancing rings thrown into the air:

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During the morning show, a spat develops between the good guys and the bad guys (they’re not all good knights, you know.) That develops into a mounted joust during the second show, and finally, a brutal fight to the death in front of the king and queen in the last show. They use blood squibs and everything in the final show of the day, and their stage combat skills are really good.

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That night we had a feast of hot dogs and home-brewed beer and mead. It was right festive and I went to bed (or to cot, rather) exhausted, even though I hadn’t fallen off a horse that day.

The full photoset from the first day is here.

More pictures and knitting tragedy (!!!) tomorrow.

No Responses to “Scarborough Faire, April 2008”

  1. Suzy Says:

    Hey, I recognize the blonde knight… I think! If you ever get to upstate NY (where I think I’ve seen the knight), go to the Sterling Renaissance Festival. It is the best I’ve seen and Queen Elizabeth and her court is awesome. The beggars are also the best I’ve ever experienced.

  2. Kath Says:

    Nice shots! I think 27 and 55 are my favorites. I haven’t seen a good show like that in quite a while, I stopped attending RenFaires and such when I moved over to the island. Kinda miss it!

  3. Plum Texan Says:

    I was at Scarb a scant two weeks ago. Curses! I desperately need someone to talk the Spousal Unit into a Utilikilt. Apparently the fact that they give me The Vapahs is not enough for him.

  4. Lissa Says:

    Oh! I didn’t know you were coming up here, too bad! I performed with my singing group at Scarby this Saturday as part of a birthday present for Iris of Iris and Rose. I would have said hi if I’d seen you!

  5. Pippy Says:

    Ooh lala, I don’t blame you for sleeping with those knights- my goodness they can wield those lances, can’t they? Tell me you went easy on the mead! One time I drank some at a bar that had it because I was curious. Whoa. It had a very crazy effect on my blood sugar.
    That’s all I’m saying.
    Ok, now I want to know about this knitting tragedy!

  6. Jess, of the Bugs Says:

    They are all totally hawt!
    I wonder if ‘strewth what they don’t wear under their armour…prithee tell me, good sir, ’tis true what they say? “’tis not the size of his lance, but how the knight doth wield it!”

  7. Eklectika Says:

    Ok – and here with the small world thing again, lol…I’m friends with a few of them Noble Cause boys – really good friends with one in particular, although he’s in OK right now. Aren’t they awesome? :-)

  8. Miss Scarlett Says:

    You stayed there? How fun – love being backstage.