The Killington Renaissance Faire 2005

 Jim Lestrange is doing the photographs of the faire this year because he’s the superior photographer between the two of us. Included in this photo essay are also Shannon Dancy’s photographs of The Spirites Consort on page 3 (quite a different perspective and way of taking photographs than Jim’s style, wouldn’t you say?).

  Shannon is from North Carolina and she is a singer with a band called “Beyond Blue” and a visual artist. We both have blonde hair, are sopranos and we both refer to each other as sisters. Perhaps in some sense we are.

 There was a change in location this year. The faire was set up in the hills behind the Cortina Inn with gorgeous vistas of the Green Mountains . Its location was about 3 miles from The Long Trail which is joined with the Appalachian Trail through that particular section of Vermont . It is also close to where I spent much of my childhood. Memories of being carefree, swimming in the lakes, breathing clean air, caring for farm animals, walking down dirt roads and on trails through the woods came flooding back as I looked out to the mountains from the 2 stages where we performed. It was the most idyllic view from a stage I have experienced yet. Since the Killington/Pico area is still predominantly wild and undeveloped, it is easier to place oneself in another time, particularly with a horse and carriage roaming the grounds.

 As musicians will do, we performed and swapped songs with the other acts at the faire, so you will see Jeff Belding accompanying Malarky the Sot and you will see me singing with The Harper and the Minstrel. What you won’t see (because Jim was performing) was The Spirites Consort with The Harper and the Minstrel on stage together (six of us: 2 harps, a hammered dulcimer, 2 guitars, a double bass and 4 voices).

 I saw many more rennies (patrons dressed in costume) attending this year’s faire. A lot of families from the Killington/Rutland area attended as well, particularly because of the activities for children: interactive theatre and juggling, magic shows, a stilt-walker roaming the shire as an ostrich, dragon and other crazy characters, participatory dance, tea with the Queen, costume contests, fencing lessons, balloon sculpting, vendors with children’s items and carriage rides. We brought some of our own audience (from hours away!), so there were some music lovers there as well.

 At one point during the faire, we were on break sitting in the food area, listening to Malarky the Sot and to 2 vendors selling flowers. Their antics were theatre and they were always yelling out to the passersby: “Buy a flower or a flogging here!” “Ardor on a stick over here!” “Buy a red rose for your red rose and she will reward you with her own passion rose tonight!” “Buy a red rose for the one you love or a thorny stick for the one you don’t!” The patrons went for it all, including the flogging! When my rose started to wilt and the petals fall off, the seller wanted it back to vend because his “hate thorns” were selling out (and replaced mine with a beautiful new one which still survives in a vase 4 days later).

 On Saturday evenings there was the Renaissance banquet with so many patrons reserving tables that the inn had to turn many, many people away. The acts from the faire provided entertainment. If there is a banquet next year, remember to reserve early!