Time travel: Renaissance faire takes guests to merry ol’ England

July 2013 Posted in Arts, Culture & History
A queen and her court tour the Canterbury Faire.

A queen and her court tour the Canterbury Faire.

By Don Murtha

Geoffrey Chaucer would be right at home with his Canterbury Tales at the fifth annual Canterbury Renaissance Faire in Silverton with jousting, sword fighting, food and drink and the Queen and her court in 16th century period costumes. This year’s faire is July 20, 21, 27 and 28.

“We have  performers and vendors coming from 10 states,” said Nancy White, director of the event. “The Imperial Knights are coming from Riverside, Calif., and there are participants coming from New York and Florida. It is a huge international event.”

The faire is held on six acres on the Old Mount Angel Highway just north of Pine Street.

“We do a lot in the Canterbury Faire and we get bigger every year,” White said. “It’s a screaming good show.”

In addition to the jousting and sword fights, there will be  merchant craftsmen, a marketplace, kids’ games, an ale yard, food court and an archery tournament open to the public.

“We will have four magical groups all from the area and  bag pipes. There will be belly dancers and jugglers, who are very, very funny,” White said. “It is all a family-oriented program.”
A blacksmith will demonstrate how armor was hand hammered and there will be period weapons for sale, along with other crafts and arts.

White said her daughter Abigail White is her right hand and general assistant and her daughter Alison White plays Queen Elizabeth in costume and rules over her court of volunteers.

“Alison performs with the kids teaching them court protocol, how to bow and courtesy,” White said.

Mike Reife is site manager for the faire.

“Mike helped start the faire when he took Abigail to a renaissance show in Kings Valley near Dallas several years ago and I had been trying to come up with an idea for a show here. Abigail gave me the idea,” White said.

White’s sisters, Barbara and Linda Windus, work the entry booth.

Tom and Andrea Montgomery come up from California.

“She jousts and fights with swords and often beats the guy,” White said. ”She is very good.”

Steve Glindmeier, a Silverton CPA, is heavily involved in the faire yearround as the computer expert, tax manager and bookkeeper.

“Steve is indispensable. I don’t know what we would do without him,” White said. “It boggles my mind that we have so many people who give so  much and no one gets paid. During the faire, we must have hundreds of volunteers helping out.

“We work at it all year long. Once we finish this year, we get together and plan for the next event,” White said. “Next year we are looking at something new, perhaps in August.”

The jousting events, held every day of the faire, conform with White’s career as a horse trainer and riding instructor.

“I got my first horse when I was seven. I guess I’ve always had the bug for horses,” she said.

She went to the Pacific Horse Center in Sacramento, Calif., and became certified as a trainer and instructor in 1975. She bought acreage on Old Mount Angel Highway  in 1981 and began training horse for clients in the Silverton area and teaching riding.

Now with the annual event, she has the opportunity to take guests back-in-time and teach them about another place and time.

To see schedule and more, visit www.canterburyfaire.com.

 

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