Festival reenacts past

Campus Times
October 31, 1997

photo by Echelle Avelar

Melissa Davis, one of the fair characters, gets her hair braided by Stephen Clarc, who has been a Renaissance fair worker for 15 years and has worked the Orange County Renaissance Festival for two years. The Crossroads Renaissance Festival, located in Irvine off the 55 Freeway, will be open until through Sunday.

by Echelle Avelar
Photography Editor

Eat smoked turkey legs and funnel cake, watch stunt horse riding and be merry at the Fifth Annual Crossroads Renaissance Festival in Orange County that is held every weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Nov. 2.

Entering the Festival, guests are invited to dine amongst the peasants and aristocracy, visitors can even meet the queen as they travel through the miniature village.

There are plenty of things to see and do in this 15th Century reenactment of a European Village. Visitors are encouraged to explore the art of sword fighting and craftmaking

For the visitors that have a flare for the theater, there are over 20 different acts that span from Shakespeare to comedic juggling that are held throughout the day.

There are three themed weekends at the festival. The first featured King Fredrick III and Queen Lenora, of 15th century Germany hosting a Royal Beer Festival. On the second weekend, the royal Spanish Court ruled as they took on rowdy pirates. On the final weekend Queen Mebd and her band of Irish, Scots and Welsh Celts will show their skills with several daring shows .

"I've worked at Renaissance fairs for 15 years, but I've only worked here for a few months," said Stephen Clarc, a festival merchant.

James Zoope presents his "Wild Wonderful World of Horses" twice a day. The family- run show has four generations of Zoope.

For guests that are tired of watching horses run through obstacle courses, they can always watch the fanatics of Jefferey the juggler. He draws a bigger crowd by telling the audience to boo his act instead of cheering him on. He says this is done to attract more people to the show. He then begins to display his talented quick draw by juggling objects ranging from balls to knives which draws applause from the crowd.

Peasants greet guests in Elizabethan language and invite them to play the games and join the fun. Throwing axes, archery and dunking the dummy are just a few of the things that can be enjoyed.

Guests should not be surprised if while walking through the village, they are asked to join in a tug-of-war, or if they witness a parade presenting the queen to the village.

Merchants show visitors their hand made works that truly give a feel of this period. Items like leather purses, flowered crowns, wooden swords, sterling silver cups and mugs can all be found there.

Guests can even look up their family name and research their past. This pleasant, laid back era allows visitors to roam as they please and it also allows them to take a step into this carefree time.

The fair is located off the 55 Freeway. Visitors to the festival take Chapman Avenue and go east and follow the signs. Parking is free and admission is only $7 for adults and $3 for children under the age of six.