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UAS will play host to this year's Renaissance Faire

Swordplay, song-play are on the menu for celebration of olde tymes

Posted: Thursday, March 23, 2000

Knights in chain mail and boiled leather will defend their honor in the kingdom of Auke Bay on Saturday.

The annual Renaissance Faire will feature musicians, crafters, fortune-tellers, performers and merchants. The event will be staged from 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the University of Alaska Southeast student activities center.

In past years the fair has been at Centennial Hall, but UAS student activities director Tish Griffin said the event has been scaled back a bit this year and moved to the new activities center across from DeHart's Auke Bay Store.

``We've eliminated the children's area, and we're taking it out to campus,'' Griffin said.

UAS and the Juneau Society for Creative Anachronism are co-producing the fair.

``They're doing the fighting demonstrations on the hour,'' Griffin said. ``They do medieval fighting with swords and shields. We're going to set them up in the parking lot.''

The combat is done in the tradition of the tournaments staged in the Middle Ages. At the international level, the Society for Creative Anachronism holds competitive tournaments that draw thousands of people. Locally, the jousts will be good-natured demonstrations, and the chain-mail and boiled-leather-clad combatants will be more entertaining than competitive.

At past events, the knights and costumed maidens acting as medieval characters have transformed the demonstrations into theatrical skits.

Griffin said dragons' eggs and other ``medieval'' foods prepared by UAS food service will be available. Peer Amid Beads will have a booth, and Auke Bay Gardens will bring herbs and plants that were used in the Middle Ages. A spinner will demonstrate spinning wool with a wheel, and student clubs are hosting booths and games.

Contemporary singer and songwriter Cindy Pearson from Astoria, Ore., will perform a concert at 5:30 p.m. Griffin said Pearson, who is not a renaissance musician, will perform original music.

Pearson grew up in Anchorage, and left Alaska after graduating from East Anchorage High School in 1972. She worked for 18 years as a nurse in Arizona and Oregon, writing poetry, playing guitar and singing on the side. Several years ago she decided to dedicate herself full time to her own music and has recorded several CDs.

Admission to the Renaissance Faire is $5. It's free for university students and members of the Juneau Society for Creative Anachronism.



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