Renaissance Faire brings medieval performs, vendors

GVL / Nathan Kalinowski

GVL / Nathan Kalinowski

Alexandria Sprague

The grass area surrounding the clock tower was spotted with canopies, medieval performers and vendors on Oct. 5 and 6. Despite the rain, families, faculty and students mingled with pirates, Gypsies, royal courts, knights, fairies, and minstrels at Grand Valley State University’s annual Renaissance Faire.

Tents to buy clothing, food, woodcarvings, swords and jewelry were intermixed with interactive demonstrations throughout the two days.

Tracie Samdal toured the faire for the first time Saturday morning along with her husband and two children. A Gypsy determined her fate with tarot cards, drawing three cards to determine her past, present and future.

Gypsies believe that fate will draw the card that should be drawn. This was Samdal’s second time having her fate being shown through tarot.

“My grandmother believes in all that mystical and crystal stuff, and I really like the idea of it,” Samdal said.

Along with tarot, one could see knights battle in front of the library. The clang of metal on metal could be heard across the faire.

Not far from the battleground, a jail was set up with club members sticking to their Renaissance characters. For $1, one could put someone in the black iron structure and make them do “silly things.”

A mercenary encampment with tents was separated from the jail only by three performers juggling. A pirate show was also set up nearby that drew a lot of attention, especially from the younger boys in attendance.

Among many of the performers wandering around was Rachel Bowling, former president of the club for two years, who is a Gypsy known as Scarlet. Bowling was first drawn to the faire because of her former experience at the Holly Renaissance Festival.

The Gypsy faction read tarot and also danced around at the faire. This year is different than the last year for Bowling’s gypsy routine.

“We have our old site back this year. The library is open so we have more space for the merchants and everything is just set up better,” Bowling said. “Last year we were squished next to the Student Services Building because of construction.”