This was the first time I visited Willy-Nilly on the Wash, and I did it by adding a weekend in Ohio to my Maryland vacation this year. Dallas to Baltimore to Dayton to Dallas ... a nice round trip. And yes, it rained the weekend I was in Ohio. Contrary to popular belief (well, BrOOn claims to hold this belief, and he is popular) it does not rain every time I visit a faire! OK, so it rained a little bit on Saturday morning this year at Maryland. And it has rained every weekend I've gone to TRF ... this year! But it only rained once at Hawkwood and it never rained at Scarborough at all this year.
Luckily, Saturday was rain-free so I was able to get lots of great pictures to make up for the fact that it rained so hard on Sunday that I actually left before closing gate! Still, I did get some good pictures on Sunday, even a few of BrOOn.
Some of my favorite performers are at Ohio: The Swordsmen, The Minstrels of Mayhen, The Free Lancers and BrOOn (even though he did accuse me of bringing the rain, I still like him). I made a lot of new friends, and saw some great new acts. The shopping is good, too, although I was too broke after Maryland to do more than pick up a new outfit at Greentree Weaving (I had put aside the money for this as part of my vacation fund). I really need to figure out a way to make it back to Ohio next year!
The reigning monarch of Willy-Nilly on the Wash is
Elizabeth Tudor (Lisa Peterson),
the Queen of England.
accompanies the Queen everywhere she goes.
Sometimes she is also accompanied by her Champion,
Sir George Clifford (Ripper Moore)
hat that Sir George is wearing).
he was the recipient of a goodly number of roses this past summer,
sent by yours truly through the agency of a whole lot of people I never met!
All I did was post a request on my web site, and the people who responded were
more than willing to send
Roses to Ripper
It wasn't all roses, though.
Steven the Minstrel (Steven K. Smith)
seranaded Ripper with a ballad.
But the most faithful "rose people" were
Gayle & John Friel.
They actually delivered roses at 3 different faires!
Gayle is the lady on the far left in the picture and
John is the rogue on the far right.
The Rose Journal
is the chronicle of Gayle & John's adventures over the summer.
Just click on the rose to read it.
Just inside the front gate I saw this large pond.
My first thoughts were very un-rennie in nature ...
put some pickerel rush in that corner, some cattails over there,
and 2 or 3 of the large, hardy, water lilies...
The next time I saw the pond, the
Wily Washer Wenches of Willy-Nilly
had taken over and were actually in the water!
All kinds of silliness abounds whenever these wenches are around.
I did notice, though, that one wench seemed a bit more ... masculine ...
than the others.
I'd heard that
Robin Hood was in disguise somewhere
in the village ... could it be?
As I was walking down the lane, who should I run into but my friend
This was rather amazing, since I had met Shadow for the first time at
only the week before!
He took me over to meet the ladies at the
(that's her on the right; the one on the left is
the Wayward Wench) and her partner
make beautiful cloaks and hats.
Solstice home page
and check out some of their designs.
And doesn't Shadow look fine in his new kilt!
The Daring Devilinis show was recommended to me by my friends Katya and Leonardo of To The Hilt. Luckily I saw the Devilinis on Saturday when it wasn't raining. Isabella (Allison Williams) and Arlecchino (Todd Espeland) do all those things our mothers tell us never to do: play with fire and sharp objects, and lie on a bed of nails! That certainly puts a very literal twist to that old saying "You made your bed, now lie on it." And they are brother and sister. Would I lie to you?
Check it out! The Devilinis have a web site!
The address is
My favorite jousters,
The Free Lancers
complete for the Queen's favor with feats of arms afoot and mounted combat.
In the pictures on the left,
Sir George Clifford,
the Queen's Champion, takes on
Philipe D'Alencon (Alan Dudley) of France
in a clash of horses and steel that leaves the French knight in the dust.
This was the first time that Sir George had unhorsed Philipe all season.
Joining Sir George, Philip, and
Rogan Lors (William Garrison)
for closing weekend was
Dame Katherine Talbot (Kate Cox),
one of the few female jousters in North America
... oops! ... Queen Elizabeth's England.
Two of the crafters providing continuous demonstrations at the faire were
Lucy Lambswool, Her Majesty's Spinner
Al Gardner of
Creations in Glass.
Lucy showed us how to card wool, and then spin it using either a spindle or
a spinning wheel.
You could even buy a hank of wool and spindle and try it for yourself.
Al demonstrated lamplighting, which is essentially sculpting in glass.
Some of the pieces at his shop were very elaborate, particularly
the tops he makes for wedding cakes.
What would a faire be without gypsies?
Well, we don't have to find out since
Scheherezade's Gypsy Travellers
are here to entertain us.
These 3 traveling gypsies
(Joshua Safford, Heather Bram & Chris Forker)
dance, drum and tell fantastical stories.
They also play with fire.
Hmmm .... I've noticed a lot of fire lately.
I wonder if it has something to do with all the rain...
A faire has to have pirates, too. And these pirates not only sing (sort of),
The captain and crew of
The Bloody Scavenger
(a truly landlocked vessel if ever I saw one)
cross swords and wits with a host of notables (and not so notables)
such as Sir Francis Drake, Sir Phillip Sydney and
Captain Grace O'Malley.
Here's an interesting tidbit...
The Bloody Scavenger numbers among the crew a most unique individual,
Calamari was given this position by
But I still don't know
exactly what a Squid Wrangler does ...
Two of my all time favorite performers are
Together they are
itinerant gentlemen adventurers.
Besides looking good in tights (a prerequisite for being a gentleman adventurer),
they also have an eye for the ladies; they are masters of the art of romance.
As you can see, Dirk & Guido also have an eye for the camera.
They saw me sitting on the side of the stage and interrupted the show to
smile & wave.
Don't forget to visit
The Swordsmen home page
to find out where these gentlemen adventurers will be appearing next.
Stuartski Siskanovich (Stuart Sisk)
was willing to juggle in the rain if the audience was willing to stand in the rain and
make a lot of noise.
We were, so he did.
Rain adds an extra dimension of danger to juggling axes and knives.
But fire juggling is most impressive in the rain.
I'm always amazed that the torches don't go out.
(I know all about lighter fluid, OK? Don't ruin it for me.)
The Happy Daggers.
I saw a lot of these guys on Sunday.
Everytime I ducked into a pub to get out of the rain, they were there!
And then of course I had to stay for their show.
Pub songs, ballads, comedy and more pub songs!
I really wish I had bought one of their CDs ... either of you guys out there listening?
|Some of the people I met at the Ohio faire|
(and I've been doing a lot of that),
here is the man himself, in all his dripping wet glory!
Let me tell you about this particular show.
It was raining really, really hard.
There were patrons sitting on the benches under umbrellas.
I walked up to the side of the stage with my camera in hand;
saw me and instantly recognized me (OK, he had seen me the day before as well).
He posed for a picture.
And then he proceeded to introduce me to the audience and tell them that
whenever I came to visit him at a faire, it rained!
Talk about being embarrassed!
Then he tells me to stop crying, 'cause he can't stand it when I cry!
(I was actually choking with laughter and he knew it!)
I got him back later.
He made a comment about how difficult it was to do his show in the rain,
and I yelled out, "But,
I like it when you're all wet and slippery!"
Heh, heh ...
even though he always manages to embarrass me when I attend one
of his performances.
Oh, yeah, don't forget to visit BrOOn's home on the web. Maybe you can find him at a show where it's not raining!
to Christina Hodson for identifying Bailey Buxomely, Major Havoc and Lady Mary Gray. And for telling me about how the Squid Wrangler got his name.
I am not an employee of or a participant at the Ohio Renaissance Festival; I am but a simple patron. All opinions expressed on these pages are my own.