Renfaire

If you could see me in Monmouth right now, you might be wondering why I’m wearing chainmaille, the helmet of a knight, a scabbard and a sword. You might be wondering why I am walking around with a mace (not mace, mind you, but A mace). You may be wondering why my buxom bride is even more buxom with her girdle, ankle length dress and elaborately braided hair.

Take a step back, and take in the whole scene.

Perhaps, when looking around, the answer would become clearer. There are hundreds of us, each dressed this way. Still, why the heck is Monmouth home to so many medieval knights, damsels, maidens, kings and peasants?

Here’s your answer:

The Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire.

Monmouth, Oregon, home to Western Oregon University—one of many fine institutions in the great state of Oregon—is also home to the Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire. Just over an hour from Portland, and just a hop, skip and a jump from Salem and Corvallis, it’s worth the drive (travel by horseback is significantly longer).

Let’s back up for a second. Since this is the only Renaissance faire in the area, you may not actually know what a Renaissance Faire is. Basically, it’s a Civil War Reenactment but set in set in the historic renaissance era of 1558 to 1603. This faire offers an enlightening, interactive historical adventure and is safe and fun for the whole family.

“Here ye, here ye,” the cry of the herald outside the fortified gates of Friar Tuck’s Forest. “Delight awaits the old and the young, as jousting knights and noble steeds clash on the tourney whilst while minstrels, troubadours, jongleurs, dancers and bards fill the lanes with delight.” Walk inside, close your eyes and picture Robin Hood and William Shakespeare walking the streets. Heck, maybe you could keep your eyes open and see. There are here. I guarantee it.

With north of 125 artisan stalls and 1,000 costumed players, knights and maidens, paupers and earls, men, women and children can peruse throughout the village for exceptional hand made goods and unique treasures whilst surrounded by the merriment and entertainment of the Renaissance era. Eat and giant pickle or an entire turkey leg, drink the finest mead, and be merry and carefree, for food purveyors are on hand inside Friar Tuck’s Forest. Nobles and serfs lead children in games and adventures from the era.

I can’t wait to watch the jousting, to listen to the tunes of the minstrels, to revel in the revelry of a way bygone era. I’ve been to Ren (in the parlance of the attendees) Faires before… but never one this close to home. I can’t wait! I think it’s going to be a blast and it’s just one more reason why living in Portland is so great.

For more information, visit http://www.shrewfaire.com/index.php. I hope to see you there, hopefully bedecked in your finest medieval attire.

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