Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 9
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

RenFaire popular, yet faces uncertain future

“Unfortunately, I left my armor at home, in the laundry,” said Ruth Garcia, an Oregon resident, as she peddled chain mail at Saturday’s 38th annual Renaissance Faire. “Luckily vending is fun!”

This year’s faire drew colorful costumes and eye-catching performances, from sword fighting demonstrations to musical and theatrical performances.

Some attendees were highly enthusiastic about recreating the medieval period. “I was in England when I saw some of these old pieces,” Garcia said of her motivation to create chain mail. She began working on some pieces as many as three years ago, in addition to knitting and crocheting. She is also a member of the Empire of Adria, who led broadsword demonstrations throughout the day.

Others merely came for a day of free entertainment.

“Though I’m not particularly interested [in the time period], I’m really enjoying it,” said Walla Walla resident Juli Stout, with three children in tow. “The activities are great for kids, and this is the first time I’ve been to the campus, which is beautiful.”

Sunny and warm weather helped create a lighthearted atmosphere. “Each year it runs smoother,” said senior Ryan Peinhardt, the publicity chair of the committee responsible for RenFaire.

Planning begins with the school year and picks up heat during the second semester. “It’s cool that people get excited. You work all year long and then in these last few days it comes together,” said sophomore Brittin Borland, who participated for the first time this year.

Despite high attendance and general enjoyment, Borland, who will head up next year’s event, said that the faire will “possibly be smaller” in the future, with at least five valued members of the organizing committee graduating this year.

“We really need to recruit,” she said.

“We’d love to get more people,” echoed sophomore Jackson Kahn. “You don’t need experience at all.”

Borland and Kahn plan to reach out to incoming freshman in hopes to gain enough new members, and are thinking of ideas for next year.

“This was our first time coming and we’re already talking about coming back,” said Walla Walla residents Mike and Nancy Vidican, who praised the skill of blacksmith Torvald Sorensen.

Jen Johnson, access services manager at Penrose Library and a vendor at the faire, was dressed in full regalia and has attended the faire six times. “My kids come and do magic shows,” she said. “I love it.”

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