A Glorimendous Day – A personal perspective
by Kiersten Elaine
It started as a beautiful morning and progressed into a gorgeous day.
The pavilions stood proud against the clear blue sky while the flags danced softly in the breeze.
The crowds started showing up shortly before 11 and the first battle began at noon. After the first rounds were over, the battle upon horses began. (Actually, the authorizations took place first, but it was still fun to watch.)
Moon rode easily into the intermediate level of authorization followed by Lady Katrin and Lord Kenrick. Vaska flowed onto a horse next, in her white horseman’s tabard, and once upon her animal, they moved as if they were one creature, both animal and lady’s hair reflecting various shades of red and gold in the bright sunlight.
Meanwhile, Lady Alianora worked around the fire, creating food for the fighters and other demonstrators. The scents were enough to make anyone salivate as they walked past. Once dinner preparations were complete, she thinks of the fighters and prepares pickles, pickled eggs, carrots, celery sticks and more to be distributed as the fighters return from battle.
Ah, the fighters, such is the most popular aspect of demos. What a wondrous group of fighters we had. So many fighters from within the Shire as well as many fighters who made the trip from other parts of the Kingdom. HUZZAH to everyone who played this fine day and enticed and enthralled the crowds of spectators. Then, after the battles and play were done, opened there hearts to trust by allowing spectators young and old to participate in the fun activity of “whack a fighter”. Whack the fighter was quite popular with kids of all ages. Many stood patiently (and some not so patiently!) for the chance to boffer a fighter. Squeals and giggles were heeded as the thrill of actually being allowed to hit someone who was still in full armor.
During this time, Serene was making certain the fighters stay hydrated by offering water and Gatorade. What a most honorable and noble mission for young Serene! It gladdens my heart to see our youth doing the work that is so important and not always recognized. HUZZAH to all water bearers!!
Melees were popular and the crowds roared when fighters were asked to salute them as Lord Toke weaved stories and explanations at the onlookers. “Salute the Crowds” he would bellow. “Salute your most noble opponent!” And then he would make certain everyone knew what was happening on the field. Clapping and cheering reigned as the last fighters remained standing and victorious time and again.
Toke is amazing in his vigilance, for not only did he entertain the crowds during the day, but he kept faithful watch over the fire pit both nights at the park. HUZZAH Toke! Don’t let those feet get too close to the fire, okay? :)
Crying the “camps” of the various sections of the festival is no small matter. Lady Disa does a marvelous job with this errand. Her beautiful, yet thunderous voice draws attention and crowds as it is meant to do. He slight figure belies the ability for her voice to carry over the most poignant conversations. She obtains help from a garbed members to give spectators just a taste of what is to come if they visit the Middle Ages encampment, promising battles and honor and chivalry, straight from the renaissance days. People come in hoards to witness all these things she promises and more. HUZZAH m’lady Disa. And remember, no matter how good you are, sleep is still a very important aspect. *hug *
The Arts and Sciences pavilion cannot be forgotten, for it is a popular stop for attendees. Much to look at from pictures, to drums, to garb, armor and more. HUZZAH to the SCA members who allowed, for these brief moments, a chance for people to look into the lives of those of us who Live the Dream! It is great that people can see what we do and what we enjoy! This is the best way to draw those in who aren’t just here for the fighting.
Kassia and Jenn sat devotedly vigilant, watching over this pavilion and all it’s special materials. They minded the baked goods, created from the hands of our very own shire members, and encouraging the passersby to have some of the delicious homemade bread, cookies cakes which were offered on a donation basis. “Whatever you feel it is worth to you!” were the cheerful words as someone inquired as to how much something cost. Thank you, Kassia and Jenn, for your patience with me. I should have helped more, instead of running around with the camera, but don’t you think the pictures just came out great? I love the one of the two of you!! : )
And Master Hal, between teaching his fighting classes and then participating in the fighting that commenced every couple hours, was always there with a smile and ready to play or teach some more. HUZZAH, Hal for all the work you have done for this demo for these many years. Your dedication and steadfastness to this shire has not been unnoticed and you have helped keep this shire alive.
And always behind the scenes, yet always there when you needed her, was Lady Katrin, autocrat for this fine demo. Watching as the fighters battled, ready to be a chiergen if the need arose, making certain there was enough fluids for the fighters, running to save the water container as it threatened to tip… watching and helping as Alianora created a feast with the food that was donated… Watching and speaking with the crowd as they seemed curious about something… Always ready with words of encouragement or help if some of the SCA members had a question or just seemed to be tiring from the day of work and play. M’lady Katrin, I do hope you know how much your presence means to all of us and how we realize how much work you put into making this demo a success, year after year, for the time that we have been a part of this Folklife Festival. HUZZAH to Lady Katrin!!
The end of the day draws near. The large crowds begin to dwindle. The breeze that had been around for most of the day continues to move trees and flags and cool the wornout but satisfied fighters.
Soon after the last spectator leaves, it is time for the dinner made by the hands of Alianora and anyone around to help. Ah, delicious!
Everyone draws near the fire pit to talk and just relax. The day had been wonderful. The drums come out for a time and some of our ladies begin dancing to the beat. This is not the time for mundanes, this is a time for us. This is the time, the “post-revel” where we can just be ourselves and not worry about saying the wrong thing, doing the wrong thing. No longer being watched, observed, written about or discussed, the participants in the day’s activities just sit back, watching the fire, listening to the drums, and encouraging the dancers.
The moon appears over the treeline, giving everything a silver glow. Tiz a full moon this night. That also gives the day a satisfying close. Torches light the way around the encampment, but there is no need, for the luminosity of the moon is bright enough to see by. Soon, happy and relaxed but tired, people slowly drift to their camps or to their homes if they did not set up camps in the park. Ever devoted Toke remains by the fire as he does every night, keeping the embers glowing, sitting back in his chair watching the flames dance in the breeze, watching for any trouble (which never comes, but yet he continues to hold his guard) and awaits the imminent morning sun.
What a glorimendous day it had been.