BREMERTON — Step back in time to experience the middle ages as they should have been at the 36th annual Kitsap Medieval Faire.
The Kitsap Medieval Faire is not your traditional Renaissance fair. It’s a historical and educational demonstration of arts, crafts, sciences and fighting from history, ranging from 600 B.C. to the 1600s A.D., put on by the local Society for Creative Anachronism barony, Dragon’s Laire, part of the Kingdom of An Tir.
“I came to this event as a first-time visitor 10 years ago,” said event organizer Amanda Zeitler, known in the SCA as Kloe of Thira. “The pageantry, the tents, the camaraderie and the chivalry among those playing drew me in, and I knew that this was something I truly wanted to know more about.
“For me, the appeal was being immersed into my passion for history and combine it with my interests in cooking, sewing, painting and archery. We like to say if there is something you enjoy doing, there is probably a medieval activity that fits it.”
The faire will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 2, across from the Bremerton National Airport at 8707 SW Sentinel Peak Way. New this year to the Kitsap Medieval Faire will be Low-key Sunday, for those in the community that find Saturday too intense. There will be combat tournaments and demonstrations, artisan village demos, limited family activities and access to merchants from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“Low-Key Sunday is a new direction this year,” Zeitler said. “We are not opening to the public at large, but rather taking the time to welcome those in the community who are disabled, autistic or have other special needs, that may find our Saturday event too much to handle, out to see what we are about without having to handle the stress and navigation of large crowds.”
The medieval faire features a little something for everyone.
In the Artisan Village, learn about the knowledge, skills and craftsmanship it takes for intricate arts like textiles, scribes, culinary and bards.
“The Kitsap Medieval Faire is a step back in time, where artisans recreate how people would have cooked, made dishes, tools and weapons, processed materials for clothing, minted money and created art for others to enjoy,” Zeitler said.
War re-enactments will feature sword and shield, pike, ax and more melee-style combat, as well as combat archery and siege weapons.
Witness the impressive fighting skills of the heavy fighters and rapier fighters in one-on-one tournament fighting.
“Combatants come together on fields of war and tournaments, for heavy and rapier,” Zeitler said, “to give a peek into what it could have been like to go into battle for King and Country. Many make their own armor from leather, metal, linen or modern materials in disguise in an attempt to reflect what was used in history. Large scale siege weapons demonstrate how equipment in the middle ages could be used to penetrate the walls of strongholds.”
Watch as people demonstrate their skills in archery and thrown weapons at ranges open for viewing.
“Archers craft arrows, and some make their own bows, and practice the skills they would need to be effective in defending their lands or hunting for food,” Zeitler said. “The art of thrown weapons gives a glimpse into what an ax, knife or spear could do if thrown at an enemy.”
And don’t forget to check out merchants row, where many wares are available for purchase, from pottery to garb to leather creations to knives, axes and swords.
And of course, the food merchants offer mouth-watering temptations including crepes, barbecue, ice cream, burgers and more.
Dragon’s Laire holds a “Newcomer’s Night” at its weekly social/fight practice for anyone who wishes to participate after Kitsap Medieval Faire, from 6:15-8 p.m. June 5, at the Central Valley VFW, 9981 Central Valley Road NW. If unable to make newcomer’s night, new participants are always welcomed at the weekly gatherings.
Zeitler said, “In the end, we are here to share our love of the past, and knowledge we have gained through countless hours of study, with the pubic at large.”
For more information about the Kitsap Medieval Faire, visit www.kitsapmedievalfaire.org or www.facebook.com/kitsapmedievalfaire. Learn more about Dragon’s Laire at www.dragonslaire.org.
Disclosure: Michelle Beahm is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, and an active participant in Dragon’s Laire.