I spent the weekend of June 23/24, 2012 at the Guelph Faery Fest: http://www.faeryfest.com/ and thought a brief report was in order.
The fest was a wonderful event. I don’t think I have enjoyed myself as much at an event in years. From the Board of Directors: T Shawn Johnson, Glenn Roberts, Rick Avery and Monika Ptok-Byard, down to the newest of volunteers the people were wonderful. You got the sense that everyone was there because of a love of the event. The acts on the main stage ranged from solid to fantastic, some of the musical performers were absolutely brilliant. Story tellers, singers, a stage magician and the 404’s improve comedy troop were just a few of the delights the weekend offered.
The jousting was truly impressive. As a past member of the Society for Creative Anachronism I know a bit about armour and the suits the jousters were wearing combined beauty and function. The war horses are big majestic animals. The sight of three year old humans sitting atop these huge examples of the equine breed as they were led around the list after the joust couldn’t help but bring a smile to your face. This was a feature the jousters offered where for Five Dollars they would let people mount up and then lead the steeds around like a pony ride. If these steeds were ponies a house cat is a tiger. J
The merchants were what one would expect for the venue, but the quality was good. I didn’t see a single stall where I thought the person needed to take some more arts and crafts lessons.
While I didn’t get to try my hand at any of the games of skill, set up at the back of the grounds by the river, they did have Archery, a fire the ballista, catapults and several other opportunities to see how you would fair with weapons from ancient times.
Con-G, Guelph’s Anime and Geek culture convention: http://con-g.com/ set up an area where the little ones could make their own dragons out of egg cartons.
It seemed like half the people in attendance came in costume, and if you have any whimsy in your soul you couldn’t help but smile. On a more adult note, if you are a hetro guy and have a pulse you have to love these events. Hay, I’m married, monogamous and love my wife. I’m not dead yet.
The Author’s tent, where I spent most of my time, was situated by a line of shade trees close to the secondary stage. The combination of the shade trees and tent canopy made a lovely micro climate a good three degrees cooler than most of the grounds. People came to check out the books by myself, Stephen B. Pearl: www.stephenpearl.com , Jana Laiz: http://janalaiz.com/ and Professer Klunk: http://www.professerklunk.com/ as well as Jewellery by Joy Hughes-Pearl, she’s the cute woman with the chubby guy armed to the teeth that keeps hovering around. J Amongst us we covered reading from pre-school, Professor Klunk, through young adult, Jana Laiz, and into adult, Stephen B. Pearl. I also had T shirts and book bags for sale.
The weather was lovely having only a light shower early on on the Sunday and a brief period of moderate rain close to closing on the Sunday. The oppressive heat of the previous week was mercifully broken. The mosquitoes were a minor annoyance but these were kept largely under control.
The English country dancing, that ended the Saturday, looked interesting but more interesting was the prospect of a sunset stroll through Riverside Park with my beloved wife of twenty six years. The park is beautiful with lots of animals such as racoons, geese, beavers, otters; we saw several racoons during our stroll. The park is also the perfect place for the Faery Fest. The glade around the floral clock that graces it is like something you’d expect to see in Rivendell from Lord of the Rings. The remembrance garden that parallels a stretch of the river is nothing short of breath taking. It would be worth visiting Guelph simply to walk through this lovely place.
Getting back to the dancing. I didn’t partake. A few too many leaps from lifeguard towers onto concrete decks coupled with the tork of eggbeater kick have left my knees a little less than generous. This coupled with a distinct lack of rhythm and being rather self-conscious makes me a bit of a wall flower. The folk who did partake seemed to enjoy themselves, and I must admit it is a sight to see a host of winged Fay prancing about to the sound of live musicians.
The event was wonderful and the people nicer than I could have hoped. If you have an open heart, a sense of whimsy and kind words to share, I truly suggest you drop in next year. I’ve already decided to go.
If I can figure out my editing software there will be images to follow. Until next time, may the Divine, no matter what you perceive it to be, walk with you.