October 1, 2022- The Medieval Festival of Courage was hosted by Coastal Grove Charter (K-8th) in Blue Lake, CA. With 50 vendors, two stages, and three unique arenas, the festival attracted a large crowd dressed throughout the ages. I had the privilege of vending with TLC. My children, their friends, our friends, and school and work peers all came to indulge in the festivities. This two-day event spanned from Saturday to Sunday and was a very special showcasing of central Humboldt’s hidden gems.
At $10 a ticket, knights, wizards, queens, and kings entered the gates! Greeted by a sword-fighting arena for children and a few rowdy fathers, took on foam-covered sticks and fought to the death! The sword fighting arena was one of the most popular activities full of children’s rampage. The front stage was bedecked with belly dancers, clog dancers, poetry, and bagpipes. The days were full of thespians and musicians belching out their hearts in a medieval dialect. Surrounding the arena were vendors of jewelry, clothing, food, and wine. The cherry wine flushed the lady’s cheeks and beer overfilled grizzly bearded men’s mugs. Carmel dripped off green apples like witches’ muck, and meats and corn were cooked on open grills.
Over by the paddock was a tent for the kings and queens, dressed in authentic 500-1500 ce costumes excluded from the common folk. A large crowd lined the fences as men on horses jostled, flinging one another from the horse’s back. Between shows, men in armored suits and beautiful women dressed as royalty paraded the horses for the audience to touch. Within this arena were a petting zoo, a miniature pony ride, and even axe throwing! The animals warmed the children’s hearts while leaving their turds along the pathway.
Even though there was a metal fence on the high-top areas, I combined this arena as one. The front entrance welcomed the crowd to a beautiful children’s area and homely vendors. One tent offered toys for the children, blocks to make castles, animals to dress, and playsets decorated with dangling tassels and velvet flooring. A majestically dressed woman read stories from a book and welcomed groups on a story quest with the legend of the Sword in the Stone. Also displayed were gem vendors, free pin-making stations, and a gnome dome, the safe haven for the tired-out child to live in a fairyland.
Then there was “TLC” a non-profit showcasing local artists, including me! I represented Little Lost Forest displaying wands, resin trays, acrylic art, and ruins! I had the pleasure of live painting and reading tarot. My friend Savana showed her unique electroplating copper jewelry, and Patrick his locally made wood tables, mushrooms, and swords. We advertised for our upcoming festival in Manila next month! Behind the metal fence were aerial silk performers with young girls climbing the ropes! Musicians played at a small stage in the back, serenading us with the violin. A jump house, jewelry vendor, and archery station fit with plenty of room along the basketball court. Men, women, and children pulled back their bows and shot toward haystack targets. A few performers free-flowed with staff, poi, and Hoola hoops.
The Medieval Festival of Courage was a well put on event that brought the community together, offered affordable vending spaces, and showcased some top performers. The children ran the show, and Coastal Grove Charter did a good job relating its artistic and out-of-the-box curriculum. More adults (then I think would like to admit) dressed in their favorite garb and transported back in time. At the end of the day, the playful and innocent collaboration of our communities youth shinned through, and I can’t wait to return next year.