Renaissance Faire 2019

Vlad Voinich, Staff Reporter

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On Apr. 20, Whitman College celebrates one of its oldest traditions — the Renaissance Faire. This year’s event marks its 50th anniversary, making it especially symbolic and meaningful to the students and faculty involved.

Speaking on the long-running tradition:

“It’s so cool to know the club has been around putting on fairs for half a century, and that I get to experience that in my last year at Whitman. There is so much history to this club, and a lot of our alumni are still very active and involved with Faire too,” said Lizzi Wong ’19.

Traditionally, the club starts organizing this event at the beginning of the second semester each year. All the activities take place on Memorial Lawn in front of the Clock Tower.

“We dress in clothing that is historically accurate to the Renaissance and then we have various events that are also historically accurate. For example, we have fencing which was a common way to resolve disputes. We usually bring in a blacksmith to come and show off his work,” said Georgia Lyon ’19.

Additionally, club member Harrison Lurie ’22 has also directed a skit, one of the many traditional aspects of RenFaire.

“The play is going to be performed twice on the day of the RenFaire itself, on that Saturday on the main stage. I’ve been leading rehearsals for a couple weeks now. I’m really looking forward to seeing the skit,” said Lurie.

The faire takes an entire afternoon to set up. Due to the large amount of equipment and set pieces moved to Boyer Avenue, every club member is responsible for a part of the set-up.

“I love seeing all of our hard work come together and culminate into the Faire where we take over Memorial and the street-sides for an entire day! I especially enjoy the skits and awesome performers we bring to Faire — highly recommend you check them out!” said Lizzi Wong ’19.

Although the event is an old Whitman tradition, the faire has not withstood the test of time. With each graduating and incoming class, the faire faces new challenges.

“In the last two years we’ve had a lot of seniors graduate, which means as a club we’ve lost a lot of knowledge in the turn over. One of the things we’ve focused on this year and the year before is compiling all that knowledge from students and alumni into a Google Drive folder so our Faire Chairs to come will always have the past work we’ve done to rely on — even if the people who put it together have already graduated!” said Wong.

The Renaissance Faire is a family-friendly event. The organisers have created a children’s area with several activities that are supervised by the club members. The activities include colouring, face painting, and a maze.

“We welcome Walla Walla community members, people from near and from far. If any tourists in town want to come that’s also fine! It’s really anyone who just wants to enjoy music, food and entertainment,” said Lyon.

If you enjoy fencing, juggling, singing, acting or just the Renaissance era in general, don’t miss out on the Renaissance Faire this Saturday, Apr. 20 from 10:00 to 5:00 p.m. The Faire is free of charge and is open to anyone who wishes to attend.

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