The Settlers “Ye Old” State Renaissance Faire has shuffled off into history once again, leaving bags of gold for the Middlefield “Shop With a Cop” program and the “Middlefield Cares! Food Cupboard”. Generous supporters included the Nauvoo Family Market, White House Chocolates, Alley’s Grille, Mary Yoder’s Kitchen, Zeppe’s Pizzaria, EarthLight Art Source, Mangia! Mangia! and The Ghosts of Burton Historical Tours as well as the Vancura Gallery of Fine Art and Framing and the other businesses of Settlers’ Landing in Middlefield.
The grounds were peopled by minstrels and bards, gypsies and pirates, jousters, blacksmiths, costume outfitters, purveyors of jewelry sword-fighters (who occasionally had to visit the blacksmith for repairs), highlanders of various clans (sometimes “tossing the caber”), ponies and face-painters, Tarot readers, a riot of thespians, knaves and wenches of every description. No varlets were spotted.
What was spotted was the imposing sculpture of a Holstein cow on the front lawn, created largely of recycled car hoods (Its eye was a baseball, I think) by Chris McConnell. There was a contest during this particular edition of the Faire to select an appropriate name for the striking bovine. Tapping into what is likely the most-recognized Medieval/Renaissance/Romantic meme (the latest buzzword, dontcha know), the winner submitted “Muliet” (As in “Juliet”… no “Romoo-eo” was in evidence, alas). Maybe the beast will get a cowbell with her name on it.
The talent show at the Pavilion Stage was won by a buxom lass singing a naughty little ditty about the uncertainty of paternity. She was awarded the $200 top prize. Standing second was a stalwart sort of chap who demonstrated his prowess with a black bullwhip, with fearsome cracks and the snapping asunder of a water-filled cup. The tale-telling blacksmith brought a narrative on the encounters of the Picts and the Scots (both an anathema to the Romans who were intending to “civilize” them and ended up just building walls to keep from being attacked by them. Maybe the fact that the Picts went into battle naked and painted blue with a hallucinogenic substance had something to do with it). Another singer and a storyteller stepped up to the microphone to perform. A nine-year-old singer took the youth division.
Judging the competition were local notables : a bit-player in royal garb from Garrettsville, the police chief of Middlefield in a kilt, looking perfectly capable of tossing a caber…or anything else that got in the way of his enforcing the law, the mayor of Middlefield in jester’s motley (All politicians have these at the back of their closets). The “cow stage” in front featured various farces and divertissements through out the day and the players were about the grounds when not on stage; the buffoon with a codpiece made an impression, certainly.
The Chinese auction (Do Chinese groups have American auctions?) was held at 5:45 to close the day and cap off the funding for the sponsored groups. Well met!