Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Renaissance Faire promotes community collaboration

On Saturday, April 28, Whitman College was transported back to the time of the Renaissance.

A section of Boyer Avenue was closed and Memorial Lawn was sectioned off for Whitman College’s 37th Annual Renaissance Faire, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ren. Faire is planned by the Whitman College Renaissance Faire Committee.

“I think it’s about a day at the fair. There are things to buy, things to eat, a sunny day, people running around in costume. It’s just a nice place to pass through,” said Junior Kern McGee, the committee’s chair.

Photo by Eduardo DuquezJunior Gabrielle Arrowood, the committee’s secretary, said that the Ren. Faire always coincides with Alumni Weekend and draws a big crowd.

“People who didn’t even go to Whitman will drive here from as far as Salem, Oregon or Seattle,” said Arrowood. “I mean, it’s professional quality.”

Ren Faire used to be an event for which a traveling group, called Shrewsbury, was hired. The committee which presently plans Ren. Faire, however, is mostly comprised of students, sometimes with a few alums.

“We could do it without [Shrewsbury],” said Arrowood, “but they’re kind of just a kernel of history, so they still come sometimes.”

This year, members of Shrewsbury did participate in the faire.

There were other groups involved in the faire as well. Theater Sports sent members from its 24-hour comedy show to perform, Schwa sang a capella and the Juggling Club participated in unicycle jousting.

This year, for the first time, Ren Faire included a Whitman arts and crafts sale, organized by Arts and Crafts Series director, senior Seanacey Pierce. Students sold hand-made jewelry, paper and other crafts.

“A lot of people come in from outside the area for Ren Faire, and I thought it would be cool to have some Whitman representation [among] the vendors,” said Pierce.

There were many other vendors along Boyer Avenue, selling period garb, food and drink and jewelry.

Other features of the event included a blacksmith demonstrating his smithing skills, folk dancing and dancing workshops, live music, puppet shows, “dragon” painting, a working water balloon trebuchet and a kids area, which included a PVC-pipe maze, an arts and crafts table and an inflatable castle.

The Renaissance Faire Committee performed different scenes, written by junior Will Petillo. The committee made up the Ren Faire “court” this year, presided over by English professor Sharon Alker, this year’s queen.

“I think it’s great,” said first-year Seth Bergeson. “All the people from Walla Walla can come out here and it’s really turned into a community event.”

“I was surprised by how elaborate it is,” said first-year Cadence Ellington-Meaney. “It’s really well set up, and I thought it was just going to be this little student run thing.”

“My mom wanted to come from Portland for it,” said first-year Adam Caniparoli. “You don’t understand how close she was to coming for it… I had to talk her out of it and tell her I wouldn’t talk to her if she came.”

The Renaissance Faire Committee was very grateful for the sunny day: rain would have been McGee’s “worst nightmare” for the event.

“No matter what, the Faire is put on every year,” he said, even including the fabled year when only one person resided on the planning committee.

“We plan the whole year long,” said Arrowood. “As soon it’s over one year, you start planning for the next.”

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