In lieu of slaving away at a remnant project, I went to the 26th Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire this weekend with my fellow crafty friend.We saw sights, bought swag, and enjoyed lots of music, dance, and entertainment. I was surprised that the Faire was so well-attended: it took us over an hour after arriving to finally park and ride a shuttle to the grounds. We went in the first weekend of February; it was overcast and about 75 – 80 degrees, the best weather possible. (should we thank Younge Lady La Niña for that?)
First off, at the Gate Theatre, we saw the acrobats of Barely Balanced.Their act was funny, death-defying, and fresh! The Harper and the Minstrel, playing lovely Celtic airs. I also appreciated the local group Musica Vera Consort and the Gypsy Guerilla Band‘s dulcimer and zither.
While making our way up the way, we happened upon a public flogging: a tall, handsome rogue wearing leather and lots of jewelry, assisted by a grizzled little blagguard and another dim-witted bloke, announced the commencement of the punishment by oh-so-softly swishing their cats-o-nine-tails across the ample bumme of a woman tied to a post. As their blows began to get stronger and her shrieks began to get louder, the crowd carried us away so I never did see what happened, whether the flogg-ee was an actress or a volunteer! House of Douglas Bakery booth were mmmmedievally marvellous. The two loaves of bread were delicious, and very fresh-tasting. They were even better, sliced and toasted, the next day. While at the faire, we traded monies for shortbread in the form of cookies with vanilla icing and a candied cherry for me, and for Ethel, a slab of shortbread the size of a salad bowl filled in the middle with chocolate fudge. Any sort of food (except for fried bread, alas) was to be found here at a booth, amongst the jewelry, fox tails, costumes, leather goods, statuary, drawings, paintings, music CD’s, toys, horned or cat-eared or elf-eared hair-bands, glassware, dyed cloth, metal-works of art, furry animals that sit on your shoulder and nod when you pull their leashes, belly-dancing apparel, kilts, herbs, soap, plants, and all sorts of gewgaws.
It was interesting to look into the eyes of the merchants and the performers, to run one’s hands over their touchable wares before deciding whether to buy, to inhale the sharp aromas of the frying and baking foods or the herbal soaps, to appreciate the guests’ character costumes as they played along and bobbed in the frothy sea of drama! Makes one ponder the things we choose to view for entertainment, whether tonight at the Superbowl half-time show (high-tech rehash of pop hits from decades ago) or a low-tech rehash from a 15th century minstrel group….