Students hope medieval fair will become a tradition

June 03, 1994|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,Contributing Writer

Castles, Maypole dances, a May Queen contest and a human chess game will help bring the European medieval period to life tomorrow at Liberty High School in Eldersburg.

A group of students headed by Liberty senior Rachael Bradley is organizing what they hope will become an annual event that focuses on the period prior to the cultural Renaissance that swept Europe in the 14th century.

"We started a Renaissance Club at school last year, but we're doing the medieval period for this since South Carroll just had their Renaissance festival," Rachael said.

The club members have contacted other schools in the county, along with 4-H clubs and other organizations, to encourage community involvement in the project.

Although responses have been fewer than the students had hoped, a day's worth of activities has been scheduled to provide an enjoyable family outing.

"We'll have 4-H demonstrations, a person who does spinning, crafters from around the county, a Future Farmers of America petting barn and different organizations from school involved," Rachael said.

The activities open at 9 a.m. with a court greeting. A Maypole dance will be held at 10 a.m., and the petting barn will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"A group of Sykesville Middle School students will do a cycle play for competition between anybody who wants to perform a 15-minute play from the Arthurian legends," Rachael said.

The cycle plays start at 11 a.m. Lunch with the court is at noon.

At 2 p.m., costumed girls will compete in the May Queen contest. The May Queen will be chosen by the audience.

"I think one of the highlights will be the human chess game at 4 p.m.," Rachael said. "It's based on battle chess, but we're going to do all the moves. We'll pick people from the visitors to move the pieces on the board laid out on the ground."

All-day activities include an alchemy tent, fortune tellers and a dunking booth. Food such as people might have had 500 years ago will be available.

The festival is coming just in time for the end of a unit based on Elizabeth Winthrop's book "The Castle in the Attic" in the fourth-grade classes at Charles Carroll Elementary School.

Teachers Stephanie Baker and Carol Kitzmiller will bring five of their students' 17 handmade castles to display at the festival. Making the castles was a culminating activity for the integrated language arts unit.

Ms. Kitzmiller has used the Winthrop book for several years, but this year she and Mrs. Baker collaborated to include a castle project.

"We talked about the medieval lifestyle, knights and life in a castle," Mrs. Baker said.

"Building the castles was a performance assessment task. The students had to draw a blueprint of their castle, then build it with any materials they wanted."

Both teachers were excited to learn about the festival, and they hope to be able to spend time there with the castles and see some of their students as well.

The festival will continue until 6 p.m. on the Liberty High grounds on Bartholow Road.

Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children.

If it rains, the festival will be held June 11. An announcement will be made on WTTR radio if the event is postponed.

Information: 795-8073.

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