Whidbey Renaissance Faire volunteers pose in their costumes. (Photo by Bree Eaton)

Whidbey Renaissance Faire volunteers pose in their costumes. (Photo by Bree Eaton)

Faire thee well: Renaissance is coming to Whidbey Island

The volunteer-run fair May 25 and 26 will feature dancers, a juggler, ‘Fakespeare,’ various live music shows and lots of food.

WHIDBEY ISLAND — At last, the Whidbey Ren Faire will soon put an end to the island’s dark ages of yearning for the jousting of valiant knights, the allure of mysterious sorceresses, the proof that unicorns exist and the flavors from days of old.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 25, and Sunday, May 26, at the Whidbey Island Fairgrounds and Events Center on South Whidbey. The theme, according to founder Arielle Morgan, is medieval fantasy, so patrons are encouraged to dress accordingly.

The fair has been in the works for over a year, Morgan said, and has been entirely put together by volunteers.

Whidbey Renaissance Faire volunteers. (Photo by Bree Eaton)

Whidbey Renaissance Faire volunteers. (Photo by Bree Eaton)

The celebrations will feature dancers, a juggler and magician, a ventriloquist, madrigals, various live music shows including the sound of a hurdy-gurdy (a stringed instrument).

Among a variety of armored combat performances one can find the illustrious Seattle Knights, a swordfighting and jousting theatrical troupe that will perform at noon and 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Whether they loved or hated studying Shakespeare in school, patrons might enjoy the short and dumbed-down version of his plays — “Fakespeare” — brought by comedian Patrick Hercamp and performed at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The Coupeville Glee Club will perform at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Whidbey Island Pony Club will also make an appearance at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The fair can also be a learning opportunity for history enthusiasts, offering workshops in swordplay, archery and even historical cooking.

The Mutiny Mermaid Pod will partake in this history and fantasy extravaganza, lounging as they observe the bizarre nature of the terrestrial world and pose for photos. At the same time, patrons might find a dragon’s lair, a Viking ship and even a unicorn.

Phoenix Da Costa and Luna Grove are members of the Mutiny Mermaid Pod, which will be present at the upcoming Whidbey Island Renaissance Faire. (Photo by David Welton)

Phoenix Da Costa and Luna Grove are members of the Mutiny Mermaid Pod, which will be present at the upcoming Whidbey Island Renaissance Faire. (Photo by David Welton)

Merchants from Whidbey and beyond will bring the feeling of roaming around a market in a medieval village, and will include the Whidbey Island Fairies’ tiny and whimsical handmade fae dolls, fairy-tale jewelry from creators like Witch Hazel Collective and Aunty Monstera, local fantasy author Eldrich Black, natural remedies by Mad Scientist Apothecary and many more.

Craft beer, turkey legs, meat pies, hot dogs, shaved ice, you name it, will be on the menu as well. Morgan recommends patrons keep an eye out for the quests, which lead to a prize.

The event has been entirely put together by volunteers. The organization counts over 60 volunteers, with many others volunteering for a few shifts, but there are over 500 slots to fill and more volunteers are welcome to join by signing up through the fair’s website.

Whidbey Renaissance Faire volunteers work on the set. (Photo provided)

Whidbey Renaissance Faire volunteers work on the set. (Photo provided)

The Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle is also providing two shuttles, free of charge, to patrons who can’t park in the main parking area and parked their cars in the South Whidbey School District’s parking areas.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate. Children aged 5 and under can enter free of charge, while anyone older costs $28.

To sign up, purchase tickets or learn more, whidbeyislandrenfaire.org.

Luisa Loi; luisa.loi@whidbeynewsgroup.com

This story originally appeared in the Whidbey News-Times, a sibling publication to The Herald.

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