Prepare ye’ for a day unlike any other when you join us at the annual Delaware County District Library Medieval Faire on Saturday, June 4. The annual Faire takes place at the Olde Ostrander Branch Library, located at 75 N. Fourth St. in Ostrander, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The day is packed with one opportunity after another to discover what life was like long ago. Many Renaissance fairs are set during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I of England, Henry VIII, or in even earlier medieval periods like the 11th century vikings. No matter what time period you think is most “medieval,” everyone who attends will certainly be transported to another time.
The day begins with an opening ceremony from our “King” George (Needham) and a performance on the bagpipes, which saw quite a bit of use during the Middle Ages. Music will continue throughout the day with performances of the violin and nyckelharpa – a traditional Swedish music instrument that has been played for more than 600 years. Quintessence Strings of Marion will make their first visit to the Medieval Faire this year with performances at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
One of the highlights of the day comes from the Knights of the Rose Jousting Troupe, Ohio’s own all-female jousting troupe. The women and their horses, along with the help of some squires, will perform traditional jousting games on the Ostrander Branch Library lawn. Jousts are planned for noon and 2 p.m.
Traditional craftsmen and a medieval marketplace will display some of the arts and wares of the times, including an herbalist, blacksmith, cloth weaver, wool spinner, leather and woodworker, and a portraiture.
Delaware County District Library staff adds to the fun with some hands-on entertainment at stations around the grounds. Prepare ye’selves to swim by the Mermaid Grotto, sail by a Pirate’s Cove, tiptoe past the Dragon’s Lair, frolic in Sherwood Forest, and fence with the Royal Arts Fencing Academy. You may even find a trebuchet with an arm cast toward Nottingham Castle!
Should you get hungry on your journey into yesterday, food trucks will be available on-site with food and refreshment available for purchase. Just be careful you don’t drip anything on your medieval costume for the day!
Walk through history with some of the newest titles on our shelves in historical fiction this month.
• “Circus of Wonders” by Elizabeth Macneal. Nell has always been stared at in her small English village thanks to the mottled birthmarks that cover her body, but fate gives her the chance for attention on her own terms after her father sells her to a traveling circus and its proprietor lets her perform acrobatic stunts instead of being a sideshow attraction.
• “Chorus” by Rebecca Kauffman. The lyrical and character-driven story of the seven Shaw siblings, each of whom shares their perspectives on two defining moments in their lives – one of the siblings’ teenage pregnancy and their mother’s mysterious early death. Set on the Shaw family farm in rural Virginia between 1903 and 1959.
• “Carolina Built” by Kianna Alexander. A well-researched imagined biography of real-life entrepreneur and real estate magnate Josephine N. Leary. Set in Edenton, North Carolina, the coastal town where Josephine was born into slavery and eventually built her financial empire after the Civil War.
• “The Matchmaker” by Paul Vidich. An atmospheric and intricately plotted story about the personal fallout of international politics during the Cold War. Anne Simpson is a translator working in West Berlin; Anne’s husband Stephen is a piano tuner who goes on an unusually high number of work-related trips on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
• “Black Cloud Rising” by David Wright Faladé. The richly detailed, thought-provoking story of a Union Army brigade made up of recently emancipated Black men and their journey through Confederate-occupied Virginia in 1863. Starring the brigade’s leader Sergeant Richard Etheridge, a mixed-race man struggling to balance his zeal to destroy slavery, his complex feelings about his slave-owning white father, and his disappointment in the deeply entrenched racism of the Union Army.
If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at [email protected] No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!