Renaissance Faire: Ye olde and ye new

Members of Ye Merrie Greenwood Players of Kennewick, Wash. dance a turn at the 2004l Renaissance Fair held at Whitman College.

Members of Ye Merrie Greenwood Players of Kennewick, Wash. dance a turn at the 2004l Renaissance Fair held at Whitman College.

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If thou goest

WALLA WALLA — The 43rd annual Whitman College Renaissance Faire will be from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday on the lawn in front of the Memorial Building clock tower, 345 Boyer Ave.

Costumed performers such as Skweeze the Weezel, Adria the Juggler, the Morris Men and the magical tricks of Mathew VanZee will entertain.

Artisans with their wares and food will be available.

Admission is free for all ages.

For more information, visit whitman.edu/faire/.

Hark now, ye schedule

10 a.m.: Mossyback Morris Men

10:30 a.m.: VanZee Magic; madrigals ferformance and Renaissance dance tutorial

11 a.m.: Adria the Juggler; Whitman Fencing Club

11:30 a.m.: The Testostertones acapella group

12:30 p.m.: Noon Court

1 p.m.: Mossyback Morris Men; Whitman Taekwondo Team

1:30 p.m.: Skweez the Weezle band; folk dancing tutorial

2 p.m.: VanZee Magin; open boffing tourney

2:30 p.m.: Unicycle jousting

3 p.m.: Midday Court

3:30 p.m.: Mossyback Morris Men; River Rince Irish dancing tutorial

4 p.m.: Adria the Juggler; Sirens ofSwank acapella group

4:30 p.m. Skweeze the Weezle band

WALLA WALLA — Thou mayest enjoy surfeit pleasures amongst court dancers whilst partaking of the accustomary frolicking amongst the polyethylene champions of the field overmorrow at the faire.

In other words, you can expect lots of fun and dancing, along with the usual mock combat, called “boffing,” this Saturday at the Whitman College Renaissance Faire.

Fair chairwoman Danielle Wilson said you can even expect more merchants purveying their wares at this year’s event.

“We did a lot more outreach into the community so we are going to have a lot more local crafters,” Wilson said.

But it will probably be the crafters, rather than the cooks, who will provide better representations of what might have been produced and sold in the Renaissance period.

A few of the crafts will derive from old-world techniques that include clothing made from hand- woven materials and hammer-pounded metals goods forged in fires fed by hand-pumped bellows.

As for the food, expect new-world favorites such as bacon-wrapped hotdogs, frozen yogurt, snow cones and other modern fare.

Altogether, Wilson expects about 30 vendors at this year’s fair, more than she remembers seeing in the past.

There will also be more dancing groups this time, as well as good shows from other performers that include magicians, jugglers, musicians, singers, unicycle jousters and taekwondo experts.

One of the biggest crowd-pleasers returning is the annual boffing tournament.

Boffing is a mock field battle where competitors use swords, halberds and other period weapons that are made of polyethylene foam.

Boffing weapons will be supplied. Boffing participants must be at least 12. And general guidelines and rules will be enforced.

“You just try to hit them in the leg or hit them in the arm. And once you hit them in the chest they are down,” said Wilson, a past boffing participant.

“There are a few people who are refereeing who are making sure people aren’t boffing other people too hard and not hitting them on the head.”

The Renaissance Faire festivities begin at 10 a.m. Saturday with a performance by the Seattle-based all-male period dance group, the Mossyback Morris Men.

The open boffing tournament will begin at 2 p.m. The fair continues until 5 p.m.

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