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Horses prance in with landmark Medieval Faire

 - Courtesy Photo
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

PORT GAMBLE — Local residents are tuning their lutes, stringing their bows and polishing their swords to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Society for Creative Anachronism’s Medieval Faire in Kitsap County. And while Frodo and Samwise definitely won’t be making an appearance — the event is different from a renaissance fair in that it represents more history than fantasy — many participants may look like they jumped right out of “The Lord of the Rings.”

The SCA has been holding its annual festival in Port Gamble for the last five years because the grassy slopes, open spaces and vast parking can handle the scores of visitors who attend the event. Next weekend, 10,000 to 15,000 people are expected, said SCA member and Medieval Faire baroness Carol Schnetter, also known within the Barony of Dragon’s Laire, within the Kingdom of An Tir, as Brighid Ross.

“It looks like the weather is going to be good too this year,” she said. “It’s supposed to be in the mid-60s or 70s, so we’re expecting at least 10,000 people, maybe more like 15,000.”

Every year vendors and merchants arrive with their wares and set up shop at arrive with their wares and set up shop at the event, many boasting medieval items of various kinds. There will also be tournaments in archery, armored combat, swordplay and thrown weapons, as well as additional horse demonstrations.

“I’m very excited because we have more equestrian this year,” Schnetter said. “Last year was the first year we had horses, and everyone loved them. Weather permitting, we’re going to try jousting, too. The equestrian demonstrations are neat because they are all about pageantry, they look just fantastic out there.”

Winners of this year’s tournaments will receive special prizes in celebration of the anniversary, she said. They will be all handmade items straight out of the Middle Ages, including a drinking horn and handmade books.

The Port Gamble General Store is also strapping on its armor and pulling out all the stops for the fair. This will be new store owner Ethel Molina’s first big festival since reopening the business, but she isn’t concerned about the advent of 10,000 people arriving in the historical town.

“I’m not nervous to experience the Medieval Faire,” she said. “I used to have a sausage tent at the fair before I came to work here. I’m kind of excited, I think it’s going to be great.”

For more information about the fair, visit www.medievalfaire.org or www.portgamble.com and click on the events section.

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