Photo by Seᾴn Sreamach
Nora Ishlar, 3, of Atlantia painting a tapestry with her mom.
By THL Mary of Montevale
Features Reporter, PI
What can do if you go to the Children's Fete at Pennsic?
If you are Sir Erwin Bloodaxe, the Kingdom of Atlantia's newest knight and just elevated yesterday, you go to the Children's Fete in order to join your King and your Prince in the boffer lists, and allow a slender young girl to bring you to your knees—more than once.
If you are Sir Edwin's wife, Mistress Mary Isabel, you spend over two hours with a fine brush in your hand painting many young faces. Cordelia (age 10, Æthelmearc) knew even before she came to the Fete that she wanted to be Malificent. Her younger sister Elwyn (age 5) became a dragon thanks to some paint, and Katherine (7, Ealdormere) was a pink puppy.
If you are the Baron of Ponte Alto, also known as Alric the Mad, you run the camel races in which every child ends up a winner and receives a sticker. Many of the camels on this day bore a strong bodily resemblance to hobby horses, but had much larger noses and names on their necks. Some camels were girls (you could tell by the name) and were often the preferred choice of young female guests.
If you are Baroness Arnbjorg from the Barony of Stierbach, you preside over three (!) craft tables where 300 paper crowns are being adorned with innumerable stick-on gem stone in all colors and lots of stick-on shiny stars, so that the fete becomes filled with youngsters showing off their crowns and letting the grown-ups all see how bling should be done.
If you are Mistress Asalah al-Hina, you are once again painting elaborate henna designs on young hands.
If you are Mistress Morwenna Trevethan, you are instructing young would-be boffer fighters that they cannot enter the list unless they can tell the lady at the entrance the secret password. You also take time to speak with me and relate how His Highness of Atlantia pushed a wheel-chair-bound young lady around the list field so she could land boffer blows on her adult opponent. “We do our best to make accommodations so that all the children can participate in the activities they want to,” Mistress Morwenna told me.
If you are Lady Svava and Lady Torvi (both East), you arrive extra early to sign in 83 volunteers from five Kingdoms (Atlantia, Ansteorra, East, Meridies, and the Midrealm), and then relieve other volunteers to help finish up the job of registering 281 children and 201 adults for the Fete. There was also one unofficial volunteer from Æthelmearc, a man who stopped at the tote bag-and-banners painting station and sat down to create some free-hand additional outline drawings for the kids.
If you are Snow White for the day, you hand out many red enameled apple charms strung on thin white ribbons and remain totally in persona when I ask if any are poison apples, replying in a Disney Princess voice, “I would NEVER harm a child!”
If you are Sean, the PI photographer, you take lots and lots of pictures of grinning, bouncy delighted children, like the young man with Batman logos painted on his face, Fallyn (7, Atlantia) who had a balloon winged unicorn in the exactly-right colors of pink and purple, and the numerous young musicians who picked up some of the percussion instruments displayed on a bench and proceeded to keep the beat right along with the volunteer adult musicians.
All of these examples of what happened at the twenty-first annual Children's Fete are just one way of showing exactly why Fete Coordinator Lady Jacintha of Highland Foorde, who is also the Kingdom of Atlantia's Youth Minister, can say, “I love our volunteers!”
Her deputy, Mistress Cairistiona de Coueren (Alantia) asked that I remind all of you here at Pennsic—and those of you reading the PI at home—that Kingdoms and Baronies all over the Known Worlde can support the Fete by running an activity next year at the Pennsic 48 Children's Fete. If you want to volunteer to help out as a single individual next year, there are also many ways you can help on the day of the Fete. Please check on Facebook for the group's page.