Kickin’ It Old School

Looking for something a little different to do this weekend that is a short 30 minute drive from Jamestown and Warren, Pa. Attend the Wild Rose Renaissance Faire and help a food pantry while you save $1 off your admission.

“The Wild Rose Renaissance Faire started off when a few people who liked medieval fairs, wanted one closer to home,” said Michelle Vanco of Corry, Pa. “They started making phone calls and put together acts and since have brought in like-minded people for help.”

The Wild Rose Renaissance Faire has been in existence for seven years. There are now roughly 15 people, including three of the original founders, who are on the council. The group has monthly meetings and holds fundraisers to fund their passion. The festival is held on land belonging to two of the founding members.

The Highland Crew, an audience participation group and regular performers at the Great Lakes Medieval Fair in Geneva, Ohio, and Ohio Renaissance Festival, will be part of today’s cast.

“This is fun because they turn cabers, a young tree trunk that they pick up and balance and then throw through the air. They want them to flip end over end with them landing as close to an imaginary 12 o’clock as possible,” says Mrs. Vanco. “Anyone can come and be taught to turn them and then compete for prizes, and there are separate women’s cabers from men’s. An actual history lesson is given before the turning of the cabers.”

A field stone throwing competition using 5 and 10 pound field stones will take place involving the spectators, as well. Distance and accuracy are judged.

“Stab and Slash will be doing choreographed sword fighting,” she said. “They will also pull audience members and teach them how to sword duel. There will be a boffers (foam play swords) ring for attendees to play in.”

A mock pirate ship galley with demonstrations of knot-tying and stories explaining experiences of what would have happened on a ship will also be present. There are wandering musicians throughout the day. A morning gate show takes place while the guests are gathering to set the mood for what will be happening throughout the day. This year’s story is similar to Romeo and Juliet with two rival families whose kids fall in love.

Family fun for everyone is planned including an archery range where adults and children can shoot a bow and arrow. There is also a children’s craft area.

Turkey legs and renaissance fair-type food, along with hot dogs, pulled pork and hot ham sandwiches, nachos and pierogies are available. Several craft booths including handmade goat milk and oatmeal-based soaps and handcrafted jewelry are present. Handcrafted custom leatherwork, such as quivers, holsters, belts and pouches will also be for sale. Demonstrations such as wool spinning and dying take place. Author Francis D. Homer will be present to sign and sell “The Spirits of Wintermist,” a fantasy novel.

Most of the clothing worn has been made by Tonya Geer and Jessica Cowan, a founding member who has a clothing booth on-sight.

“If anyone has a related skill and wants to come down, we will find a place for them,” said Mrs. Vanco.

The Wild Rose Renaissance Faire is held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Sunday at 20354 Route 927 in Columbus, Pa. Those attending from Jamestown should head out Forest Avenue and follow your nose through Busti, Sugar Grove and Lottsville. General admission is $7; seniors and children are $5; children under 5 are free. Present a canned good at the gate and save $1 per family. Patrons may come and go throughout the day.

For more info call Dale Aikens at 814-434-2781 or go to www.wildroserenfaire.net where a Google map can be found.