Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 5
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Damsels, knights prepare to enchant at Ren Faire

Credit: Johnson
Credit: Johnson

Not only will alumni be milling around the Whitman campus this weekend, April 24-26, but so too will the lords and ladies of the Renaissance.  

The 39th annual Renaissance Faire, put on by the Whitman College Renaissance Faire Committee, will take place on Saturday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Memorial Lawn in front of the clock tower.

A year’s worth of work has gone into this Faire, with a fairly new cast (only two returners) and big attractions like unicycle jousting.  

“We’ve got a great couple of skits and lots of great entertainment,” said junior Jackson Cahn, publicity chair for the planning committee. “For the most part, Faire will be structured as it has been in previous years, but of course the scripts are all new.”

The main scenes are scheduled for noon, 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., and the much anticipated unicycle jousting will take place at 12:30 p.m. in front of Memorial Hall.  

“The main sport at Faire is unicycle jousting, which is always one of our biggest attractions,” said Cahn. “The juggling club helps us put this on, and it’s open to anyone who can (or thinks they can) unicycle.”  

Another sport is “boffering,” which is mock-combat with foam weapons. The Whitman Medieval society, which is a separate club, puts this on. It’s open to anyone who wants to try beating up their friends with fake swords, axes, spears and maces.  

The Faire is open to all, not just Whitman students or faculty, and it promotes community interaction. Visitors from all over Washington and Oregon come to Whitman’s Renaissance Faire.  

“In my opinion, Faire is one of the biggest ways that Whitman gives back to the Walla Walla community,” said Cahn. “We attract around 3,000 visitors (more than any other event at Whitman including graduation) from all over Washington and Oregon and for a whole day provide a fun and friendly environment.   It’s a very kid-friendly environment, but there’re lots of things to see and do for older visitors too.”

“The goal of the Renaissance Faire is to produce an event whose environment is welcoming to community members of all ages as well as students, faculty and staff.   We bring in local entertainers, merchants, and vendors selling art, clothing, food and a variety of other services. It gives local businesses a chance to interact with students, and students a chance to interact with the community, act and have fun.”

Many factors go into making the Faire work, like the research into characters that students play. Some students are history buffs who check for historical accuracy, including Professor Claire Valente who is this year’s queen.  

“We try to be historically accurate, but at the same time balance that with making a script which is funny and interesting,” said Cahn.  

There are about ten students who have planned the event, from organizing merchants and entertainers to advertising and writing skits: even sewing costumes.  

“It’s a great experience in organizing and planning; we’ve been working on this since September and we hope it’s a great experience for everyone,” said Cahn.

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