BY KATY SHANER
Whidbey Life Magazine Contributor
July 22, 2015
Don’t miss the exciting (and free) one-day festival—from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, July 25—at Greenbank Farm, located right in the heart of Whidbey Island.
Renaissance Then, Renaissance Now, spearheaded by Connie and Jerry Lloyd and their enthusiastic volunteers, is an event that will delight the senses! Renaissance Then, Renaissance Now juxtaposes life during the European Renaissance with the contemporary renaissance in slow food, music, animal training, local artisanry and organic farming on Whidbey Island.
The event is FREE but you might encounter actors and actresses in full Renaissance costume, acting as “Renaissance bankers,” and asking—in a fun way—for a donation to help raise funds that assist in the support of Greenbank Farm. In return you’ll receive “coins of the realm;” the more you donate, the larger the “coin”!
What Pleasures Await You
at the Renaissance Fair?
Festival events will feature local talent demonstrating and exhibiting historical and contemporary agriculture, equestrian, arts and sciences, music, crafts, literature, juggling, theater, costumes, cooking, beverage making, children’s activities and more.
Horses & Riders in Renaissance Costumes
Watch horses and riders in Renaissance costumes move through their paces in the Renaissance arena. See a new horse act—“The Art of the Garrocha Pole”—likely never before seen on Whidbey.
Horsemen have used poles on horseback for centuries— jousting in competition with lances and spears. In Spain they’ve used the Garrocha Pole for just as long, but they were moving their cattle. Now this has now been developed into a ballet on horseback. (Check out this Spanish team in action at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIyjEyPDE8I.)
Falcons and Falconry
Learn history of falconry from Steve Layman while he handles his falcons. Watch them fly free in an indoor and outdoor falconry demonstration. “Training a hawk for falconry is an incredible process and awe-inspiring to even the experienced,” Layman has said.
Dog Demonstrations and Activities
Dog activities will include “Dog Carting,” to represent the Renaissance period when dogs were used to get products to market. Representing the “Now,” there will be a “Nose Work” demo, followed by a sheep-herding demonstration—showing the history of working sheep dogs.
Throwing the “Atlatl”
Kids and adults alike will enjoy trying to throw the Atlatl—an ancient weapon that predated the bow and arrow— (a stick with a handle on one end and a hook or socket that engages a light spear or ‘dart’ on the other. The flipping motion of the atlatl propels a light spear much faster and farther than it could be thrown by hand alone.)
Parents—worry not! The Atlatl used during Renaissance Then, Renaissance Now is kid-friendly and lots of fun!
“Slow Food” Movement and The Organic Farm School
Learn about the “Slow Food” movement and The Organic Farm School at the Farm, including demonstrations of some very interesting foods being developed on Whidbey Island.
Live Music and Entertainment
Listen to live music and watch entertaining acts. Watch a history class on beer-making, demos on ancient bread-making and learn how fabric was originally created.
Why Hold a Renaissance Fair?
In addition to education and fun, Renaissance Then, Renaissance Now is raising funds in support of Greenbank Farm. Greenbank Farm is an historic public-access farm focused on local commerce, agriculture, recreation and natural resource stewardship. Greenbank Farm is 151 acres and is located at the center of Whidbey Island. Get additional information at www.greenbankfarm.biz/renaissance-at-the-farm/.
The Fair was begun a number of years back, when the Lloyds suggested it as a small replacement event for the Loganberry Festival, Connie Lloyd said. “With a few friends, we thought we’d just do some small horse and dog demos without a lot of advertising or fanfare. We called it the ‘Dog and Pony show.’
After several years, [it] started to grow, and we were having so much fun we were looking for a way to make it even bigger. The first year we performed on horseback in long velvet dresses, and ribbons braided in our horses manes, and we were hooked.”
A Little Different Flavor…
Riding instructor, Carol McArdle has an extensive background in classical training, and also loves performing in costume. So the group came up with the idea of a Renaissance Faire with a little different flavor.
“We wanted it to capture the essence of a typical Renaissance Faire, but have it be more educational,” Lloyd added. “It started with a little ‘rag tag’ committee trying to see how we could pull together some local talent, not be larger than we could handle, and still make it fun.
“There has been even more uncertainty about the Farm, recently,” she continued, mentioning the concerns with the Port, “but we decided to go ahead with the event. It will either be our ‘last hurrah,’ in which we hope to go out with great flair, or a precedent of what is to come.
Society for Creative Anachronism
Along the way, the group teamed up with the Society for Creative Anachronism, an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe, which helped them expand their ideas even further. “We think we will be successful with our goals of a small, fun event, with local talent,” Lloyd said.
Renaissance at the Farm — July 25, 2015
THE OUTDOOR ARENA
Sponsored by: Skagit Farmers, Frontier Lumber and
the Backcountry Horsemen of Island County
Jerry Lloyd, M.C.
10:00 a.m. Dog Carting:
Getting Product to Market in the Renaissance — Narration by Deb Schweers
Dogs owned by Linda Sue Schoenharl
10:30 a.m. Nosework:
You Can Turn Your Dog Into a Detective — Georgia Edwards
11:00 a.m. Sheep Herding:
Herding dogs worked for us in the Renaissance and are still working for us
11:30 a.m. Falconry:
Pre-dates the Renaissance, and is in a Renaissance Today — Steve Layman
12:00 a.m. Tir na nOg (The Land of Ever living) Troupe
Promenade of Equestrians to Arena for a Carousel Performance
Carol McArdle and five friends on horseback
12:30 p.m. Pas de deux:
a dance of two equestrians by “The Renaissance Men”
1:00 p.m. Quadrille:
A Team of four Equestrians — Come to the Dance
1:30 p.m. Garrocha:
a Spanish dance. A horse, a rider and a pole with history
Shelby Ahrens and Amanda Stygar
2:00 p.m. Pas de deux:
horse dressage for two by Anam Cara (Soul Friend) — Kate and Connie
2:30 p.m. Vaulting on Horses:
gymnastics from the back of a horse — Equestrian Crossings
3:00 p.m. Pas de deux:
horse dressage for two by Anam Dail (Soul Field) — Kate and Cathie
3:30 p.m. A Horse Parade —
Riders and their Horses: their story and their horse story
THE RED BARN — BARN A
Lora Eelkema, M.C.
11:00 a.m. The History of Beer:
“A Then and Now Story” — Bob Stallone, owner, Thirsty Crab Brewery
12:00 noon OPEN
Break for the Horse Promenade (see The Outdoor Arena)
12:30 p.m. An Act of Magic:
1:00 p.m. Falconry:
The History and the Bird with LIVE BIRDS! — Steve Layman
2:00 p.m. Food and Farming:
Preserving the Past and Building the Future.
Learn about Slow Food and the connection with Organic Farm School on the Greenbank Farm.
THE PERFORMERS STAGE in the VILLAGE
Sponsored by Whidbey Sun and Wind
David Stern, M.C.
10:15 a.m. Shakespeare Sonnet — by Hannah Mack
10:30 a.m. Island Strings — School of Music
11:15 a.m. Oriental Sword Demo — Tiger Martial Arts students
11:30 a.m. Kimmer Morris
violin music for the ages (30 mins)
12:00 noon Break for the Horse Promenade
(see Arena Schedule)
12:15 p.m. Kimmer Morris — violin
1:00 p.m. Marcus Raymond — Juggling & Escape Artist
1:45 p.m. Costume Contest — Prizes for best garb
2:30 p.m. Bards Of Key Poynt — Renaissance Music
3:15 p.m. Wrap up and Thanking the Sponsors
The Main Entrance Gate
Sponsored by Whidbey Telecom
Larry The Stilt Man
Bards Of Key Poynt — Renaissance Music
Image at top: A Renaissance Arena rider (photo by Debi Telew)
Katy Shaner, compiler of the weekly “What’s Happening” calendar in the online Whidbey Life Magazine, is the manager and volunteer coordinator of the Visitor Information Kiosk.
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