Well, the 27th Annual Alabama Renaissance Faire is behind us. Now, it is time to take a short break, during which time we will prepare for the Florence (our home city) Christmas Parade on December 12th, then we will resume our short break until January. At which time we start all over again!
If you are already trying to get your calendars set up for next year, hear are some dates for you to jot down and add to your event planning. In January, the 17th, we should be turning our official attention to planning the next Faire. The Roundtable (the group of volunteers who bring you the Renaissance Faire) will be meeting at the old Florence Board of Education (aka the Richard’s Center) building at 541 Riverview Drive here in Florence. We will be meeting monthly on every third Thursday, until September rolls around. In September we will meet two times that month, on the 1st and 3rd Thursday and then in October we will meet every week (lots to do and time is getting short. Also in October, two weeks before the Faire we hold a costume making workshop, that should be on the 11th and the next weekend is our Royal Autumnal Feast, it will be held on the 18th. Then on the following weekend, is the 28th Annual Alabama Renaissance Faire. To be held on the 25th & 26th.
There are other events that occur during the year. We, the Roundtable, will be asked to come into schools, cub/boy scout functions (where we conduct a history lesson that may not be in the history books, with armor, and weapons, like swords that will be used by real live sword fighters). We also participate at a Ring Joust held at the Bluewater Creek Polo Club. So, as you can see, we tend to stay a bit busy during the year.
We can be found on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/alarenfaire.org?ref=hl. If you wish to keep up with us throughout the year, you can visit our webpage, www.alarenfaire.org, and read minutes from our monthly meetings as well as check out the Calendar (but don’t forget to explore more of the page).
If you wish to become a volunteer or want to ask us to come and conduct out historical demonstration then please contact us. Our contact is Billy Warren, he can be reached at P.O. Box 431 Florence, Al. 35631 or by email, email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from and seeing you during the next year, all the way up to the Faire! Huzzah!
THE 27TH ANNUAL ALABAMA RENAISSANCE FAIRE WILL TAKE PLACE ONCE AGAIN THIS WEEKEND AT FOUNTAIN-ON-THE-GREEN (WILSON PARK) IN DOWNTOWN FLORENCE. HERE ARE THE DATES AND TIMES:
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26, 10:00 A.M. UNTIL 6:00 P.M.
SUNDARY, OCTOBER 27, 12:00 NOON UNTIL 6:00 P.M.
ADMISSION IS FREE!
HERE’S JUST A SAMPLING OF WHAT YOU’LL EXPERIENCE:
EXPECT TO HEAR MUSIC OF THE RENAISSANCE PERIOD: HAMMERED DULCIMERS, THE HURDY GURDY, MADRIGAL SINGERS, SEA CHANTIES, BALLADS, WANDERING TROUBADOURS, BAGPIPE, THE GLASS HARMONICA, ETC. WATCH PERFORMANCES BY THEATER GROUPS, MAGICIANS, JUGGLERS, AND OTHERS. BE ENTERTAINED BY BEGGARS, WENCHES, TROLLS, WOOD SPRITES, ETC. ENJOY FOOT PARADES AROUND THE PARK LED BY THE REIGNING MONARCH AND HIS ENTOURAGE. WITNESS THE CROWNING OF THE NEW MONARCH. PARTICIPATE IN MEDIEVAL DANCES YOU CAN LEARN VERY QUICKLY. VISIT THE BOOTHS OF CRAFTS VENDORS OF ALL TYPES (JEWELRY MAKERS, BAKERS, RENAISSANCE CLOTHIERS, ARMOR AND CHAIN MAILLE MAKERS, CREATORS OF FAIRY WINGS, MAKERS OF MEDIEVAL-STYLE FURNITURE, TO NAME JUST A FEW). ENJOY THE VARIED ACTIVITIES IN THE CHILDREN’S SECTION – FROM A HAYSTACK WITH HIDDEN PRIZES TO A CHILD-SIZE SWORD-IN-THE-STONE. PATRONIZE THE FOOD COURT FOR TURKEY LEGS, FUNNEL CAKES, FRESH-ROASTED PEANUTS AND OTHER DELICACIES.
IN THE MIDST OF ALL OF THIS, YOU’LL BE SURROUNDED BY LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE IN COSTUMES OF THE PERIOD. SOME WILL BE PEASANTS, SOME WILL BE LANDED GENTRY, SOME WILL BE MEMBERS OF TRADE GUILDS, OTHERS WILL BE ROYALTY, WHILE STILL OTHERS WILL BE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE CLOTH. THOUGH IT’S CERTAINLY NOT REQUIRED, YOU ARE WELCOME – EVEN ENCOURAGED – TO DRESS IN YOUR FAVORITE RENAISSANCE GARB, TOO!
IN SHORT, IT WILL BE A MEMORABLE TIME FOR EVERYONE. FOUNTAIN-ON-THE-GREEN IS THE PLACE TO BE THIS WEEKEND. SEE YOU THERE!
I am interested in becoming a vendor at The Alabama Renaissance Faire, who do I need to contact?
The first thing you should do is contact Billy Warren (Chairperson for the Alabama Renaissance Faire). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or P.O. Box 431 Florence, Al. 35631. If you will supply him with all your contact information, specifically your mailing address, he can mail you a vendor application. After we have received your application, it will go to our Vendor Applicant Committee for review and someone will let you know if your request has been approved.
I am a new or returning vendor to the Faire, where should I park?
There is parking all around the edges of the park itself. The simplest thing to do is find a temporary parking spot, then come in to the park and locate the Lady of Locations (Debbie Martin) to find your designated place to set your booth up at. Then you can either leave your vehicle where you parked it, drive it into the park (if there is an open lane) until setup is complete or you can find another spot closer to your location.
I am a performer and I need a place to store my stuff temporarily, where can I do this?
If you need a place to store your gear while your stage area is still being set up or to keep it out of the weather while you aid in getting your area ready, then get with one of the staff members (we will be wearing Staff badges) who can be found at the Royal Pavilion or the Information Booth. They are located on the East and West sides of the fountain, facing each other. We will aid you as best we can.
I heard there was a fountain at the park?
You have heard correctly. Normally, during this time of the year the fountain is still in operation with water shooting up to it’s top. But, we (the Roundtable) do make sure to get it turned off. There is no playing in the fountain (it does have electricity powering the lights), however, we do have several boats for kids of all ages to play with. These are hooked to sticks, that way the kids can walk around the outside of the fountain, pulling their boat.
When I arrive at Wilson Park, how do I find where to set up my booth or what stage I’m performing at?
The best thing to do is to find the Information Booth, it is centrally located on the West side of the fountain along the inner ring of the park. This is likely the best place to locate the Lady of Locations (Debbie Martin). She may or may not be there, just wait around and she will show back up. She might have been away helping another vendor. Once she has shown you where to set up at and if you want to, feel free to take a walk around the park and get an idea of where things might be.
If my booth/stage is located by the food vendors, will I have to compete with generator noise?
While there is the possibility that you will hear generator noise, it is not overpowering as our vendors do keep them out of the way behind their trailers or booths.
As a vendor or participant, I might like to catch one of the performances. Who would I ask about what shows are going on?
If you have a question about anything going on during the Faire itself, on Saturday or Sunday, you could go to the Information Booth. At the Information Booth, there is always someone there and we do have schedules that list the time and location of the performances.
What about restrooms?
There are port a potties located on the 4 outside corners of the park. Restrooms are also located in the library on the west, just across Wood Avenue from the park.
Dates: October 26th and 27th
- The faire goes from 10:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sat, and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
- We are an all-volunteer event. Those who work for the faire as staff, make no money on the event. They simply have a love of the time period and a desire to share that love with others within the community.
- Our faire is way smaller compared to most smaller events, but what we lack in size we more than make up for in atmosphere and good downhome southern hospitality.
- We are a community event, and actively encourage the local community to get involved. We have several entertainment acts that are local to our area, and even host a free costume workshop where we make simple basic outfits that folks can take home and “dress up”. We have many who show up in costume and create characters and interact with us as faire performers and the general public.
- We are a not-for-profit event, founded upon education through entertainment about life and times in the medieval/renaissance period. We know that we can’t be 100% authentic to history 100% of the time. We’ve made peace with that, but we do strive to reach it when we can.
- Because we are founded on education, we regularly do interactive demos in public schools, libaries, community orgaizations, etc. We bring an assortment of weapons, armor, books, music, and other period artifacts, and more than enough trivia to go along with them. We teach simple medieval/renaissance dances, and even engage in some simple improv from time to time.
- The opening ceremony of the faire is Saturday at 12:30 p.m., at this time we have the current Monarch open with a speech, along with the Mayor of our city Florence.
- For story purposes, one of our volunteers created a backstory where our Kingdom was put under a curse many years ago, that allows our Monarchs to only reign one year. Each time we change, the hope is that they will be the one to break the curse. However that has yet to happen of course.
- At 12:30 is the opening ceremony. After some speeches and the like, we have a parade around the faire site and invite anyone who would like to join in. The King & Queen then hold court afterwards, and folks can seek an official audience with them at that time. They are free to do so, at other times as well, but we publically advertise this one for folks who might not otherwise know that they could be granted an audience.
- On Sunday at 2:00 p.m. we hold an awards ceremony for kids who won in contests for sonnet writing and art. As we were founded on education, this is something done through the local schools. The winners come to the faire and the Monarchs present them with books as awards for their efforts.
- Sunday at 3:00 p.m. is the Coronation Ceremony. This is where the current King and Queen lose the crowns and whomever found the coin at the previous feast takes over as the new Monarch(s) of the faire. Each Royal has left the throne in different ways, and we strive to make it fun, lively, and full of drama, with action in some years as well.
This YouTube video was sent to members of the Alabama Renaissance Faire’s Roundltable Committee. It is from a BBC show known as Horrible History.
This guide was circulated to the Roundtable via email. In order to view the file, all you need do is click on the link and it will open into an online pdf file. This guide is 35 pages long and looks to cover everything from the proper underwear (briefs not boxers) to how to make doublets and what style hose to wear as well as the type of materials that are considered proper for medieval costuming and of course how to put it all together in order to make a proper appearance.
For our 25th Anniversary, which occurred in2011, Lady Janet (who is with Renaissance Magazine) came to our weekend long event and took pictures of our Faire. This year (2013), we are included in Renaissance Magazine as a 12 page pictorial. And it turned out to be quite a spectacular pictorial that caught the essence of what the Alabama Renaissance Faire is. The Roundtable will have copies for sale at the Feast and the Faire. If you cannot get a copy at these events, you can also find the magazine at Books-A-Million as well as Barnes and Noble.