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Hear ye! Festival cometh

Society for Creative Anachronism to re-create Renaissance

Society for Creative Anachronism to re-create Renaissance

June 13, 2002|by KEVIN CLAPP

To be sure, the Highland River Melees is not your average renaissance festival.

After all, members of the Society for Creative Anachronism, who stage the event, started out looking for an event for themselves.

But they settled on public property, a.k.a. the Jonathan Hager House and Museum at City Park.

So ...

Hear ye! Hear ye! Ye olde thyme Ren-ai-ssance fair maketh way to the home of Mr. Jonathan Hagar in the shire of Hagars, where for one and all there shall be much merriment for all the afternoon.

"I really enjoy it. I know most people do," says Lady Livia of Ravenswode, ne Sherri Fabic of Frederick, Md., of having the public privy to the yearly gathering in the shadow of the Hager House.


"Almost everyone there, if you approach them, would love to tell you about the time period they're trying to re-create."

Lady Livia is a resident of the Barony of Highland Foorde - an SCA subgroup of the Kingdom of Atlantia. Saturday, she will be among the 300 people expected to take part in the melees as the public watches.

A merchant row will allow visitors to shop for jewelry, clothing, armor and dishes. On the battlefield, ancient battle techniques will be displayed by men and women time-tested in the art of swordplay, jousting and quarterstaffs. Others may quiver in anticipation of the popular archery competition.

A member of SCA for 20 years, Lady Livia began her parallel life in college, joining SCA upon graduation.

As opposed to other groups that religiously re-enact specific moments in time, SCA is more re-creationist, attempting to get a feel for what it was like to live in the era.

"People get into it for different reasons," she says. "Some people get into it because it reflects fantasy. Some people really like history. For some people, it's recreation and some people it's for the arts and sciences."

In 35 years, SCA has grown from its California roots to include 25,000 members worldwide.

The world is divided into 16 kingdoms, with each comprised of a series of smaller groups ranging from principalities and baronies to shires and provinces. Subgroups are named based on the number of members.

The Kingdom of Atlantia, for instance, includes Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and part of Georgia. The Barony of Highland Foorde comprises SCA members from Frederick, Washington, Allegheny and Garrett counties in Maryland.

While SCA citizens can opt to focus on specific eras between 500 and 1600, Lady Livia says the Elizabethan era has proved particularly popular. Elizabeth I ruled England from 1558 to 1603.

"I think because it was a little more pageantry, and if you've ever taken a look at the clothing you can see how ornate it is," Lady Livia says. "It's so intriguing. It's so different from what we have these days."

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For information about the Barony of Highland Foorde, go to on the Web.

13th Annual Renaissance Festival, featuring battles, archery competition, weaving, singing and dancing

Saturday, June 15

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jonathan Hager House and Museum

110 Key St.


Festival admission is free. Museum admission is $4 for adults, $3 for senior citizens, $2 for ages 6 to 12.

For information, call 301-739-8393.

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