A weekend faire with medieval flair

PORT GAMBLE — The handsome knights and lovely ladies of the Middle Ages will be welcoming outsiders to step back in time with them next weekend. With rapier combat, archery contests and lavish courts sprawled all over Port Gamble’s majestic fields, people of today will be able to take part in ancient traditions — slightly modified by modern technology.

The Society for Creative Anachronism is sponsoring its 21st Annual Medieval Faire in the lumber town from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1.

While gatherings of SCA members are usually private, the group opens up its antiquated life-style to the public several times a year. The Port Gamble festival is one of its bigger events, said SCA member Eric Bosley.

The group has held the event all over Kitsap County, but last year’s “guess-timated” attendance of 20,000 at Port Gamble beat the previous crowd counts that numbered 12,000-13,000.

While there is no one particular event Bosley emphasized to visit, he said there will be an endless list of things to do and see over the two-day period.

“We’re trying to do more of the same and trying to do it better,” Bosley said.

There is no gold required for entrance to the festival, but a donation is requested. Bosley explained the purpose of the event is to learn about the Middle Ages and even participate in the event.

Participating means joining festival volunteers by dressing up in full Middle Age attire, as the Gold Key will open up its closet doors to allow modern people to transform into bards and artists by simply trading an ID for clothes.

SCA member Laura Henson will be cooking in the arts and sciences area while her husband will be crafting in the woodworking area.

“The biggest difference between modern and medieval cookery is the type of ingredients used,” Henson said.

She will be creating Food of Pears, a recipe retrieved from a German cookbook dating back to 1350 A.D. Henson described the dish as stuffed French toast where apples and pears are mixed together with spices then put between two slices of bread and dipped in egg batter.

She said modern life calls for certain foods for each meal of the day, but in medieval times, various types of food was used for different meals.

“A dish like that might have been served at a family feast or for a snack,” she said.

While the entertainers will be roaming and artists will be creating, Henson said part of the society is also upholding a way of life.

“We also believe in being polite people and reaching out and treating people as your betters and not being judgmental of people,” she explained. “We look a lot to tenants of honor and chivalry. You reach out your hand to people around you.”

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