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Visit The Open Fields Medieval Festival in Thetford on May 23rd

May 14, 2015 07:08PM ● By Kirsten Gehlbach
On Saturday, May 23, 2015, Open Fields will hold its Medieval Festival on the Thetford Green from 11am to 4pm. For this annual family-friendly festival, the Green comes alive with the sights and sounds of a medieval village. A king and queen, knights and ladies, peasants, craftsmen, shepherds, and farmers all gather to celebrate the age with music, dance, games of skill and chance, food, parades, storytelling, Benny the Dragon, and feats of juggling and acrobatics. Street clothes are fine, but many festival visitors dress up for the occasion, donning their most “medieval” outfits.

The festival opens with revelry as the king and queen of the kingdom of Open Fields arrive at the village with pomp and splendor in a parade at 11am. At 12:30 and 3pm, the talented No Strings Marionette Company performs Wasabi, A Dragon’s Tale with puppets. It’s a modern-day fairy tale featuring spunky Princess Aja who, with a little help from her wise fairy friends, outwits a dragon to save the kingdom and the day. The Open Fields Children’s Mummers perform St. George and the Dragon Mummers Play for the king and queen at 11:15am.

Entertainment abounds with a fire-spinning team, Moonsong Studios and their renditions of the Bard’s sonnets, family-oriented belly-dancing performances performed by Raq On Studio, Morris and sword dances from England by Catamount Morris—a Kids Morris Dance Troupe, and sword demonstrations by Sensei Aaron Hoopes. Mary Ann Stanford and Frank Kelecy, a talented duo, present period music throughout the festival, including a special performance of A chantar m’er de so qu’ieu non volria, the only canso by a trobairitz (female troubadour) to survive with its music and poetry intact. Fiddler and minstrel Amos Hostetler will be wandering throughout the medieval village.

Local artists showcase their work in the artists’ market, with demonstrations all day and opportunities to learn more about traditional crafts including felting, weaving, milling, candle making, beading, calligraphy, and more.

The Medieval Festival is a family-focused event with an emphasis on children ages 3 to 12 and includes appearances by Benny the Dragon, Glenfiddich—a highland pony, court jester Liam Gundlach with juggling, tumbling and general clowning around, plus face painting and hair braiding.

The Medieval Festival is a RAIN or SHINE event. The No String Marionette performance is held indoors, and the village has plenty of tents for activities. A “green” event, the festival generates only one bag of trash.

The festival is sponsored by Mascoma Savings Bank, Solaflect Energy, Thought Map, Hastings Chiropractic, Vermont Goat Milk Soap, and many others listed at www.vtmedfest.com/sponsors.php. For more information, visit vtmedfest.com.

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