There are some events that are just fun, and there are some event that are fun despite of crummy circumstances. When the autocrats for Mooneschadowe's Midsummer Festival proposed the event to us back in, oh I guess it was January or earlier, I don't think any one of us even considered that the temperature would be above 95 degrees. Saturday, it reached 106, and it was one hundred percent, certifiably, hot.
And, not surprisingly, it was a small event.
This, however, does not preclude fun, or productivity.
Mooneschadowe pitched all of its pavilions on the open field near the Payne County Fairgrounds, and the area looked smashing because of it. The turnout was better than I thought it would be, though I don't believe we quite reached the break even number that we were hoping for. Still, a lot of long time friends showed up, as well as a bunch of new faces. Sir Jean Paul said the day before that he only anticipated ten fighters, and that eight of them would be Mooneschadowe. He wasn't too far off, we only had eight, and I think seven or six of them were Mooneschadowe. There was some rapier fighting, and lots, and lots of children's activities.
The lunch (part of the event fee) seemed to go over really well, and there was a constant line for the Italian soda's once they started up.
There wasn't as much heraldry as I think the autocrats really wanted, but when announcements had to be made, my name was on the short list of available people... Go figure.
I actually only made a few announcements, but I had a blast doing it.
I was asked by the fest steward to announce that feast would be late because they didn't want to feed the fighters before sending them out to thump on each other. I think my announcement went something like this:
“Hear ye, hear ye! In consideration of the fighters who are about to begin fighting, it is the judgment of the feast stewards that lunch will be delayed one hour's time. It is my understanding that providing the fighters food before sending them off to fight traditionally ends badly for the fighters, ergo we ask your patience on the subject.”
I didn't find it all too funny, but several people were chuckling after I was done, and the steward was grinning widely as she shouted to me “Thats exactly what I wanted, thanks!”
Another good moment; when the heat crossed the 102 line, someone pulled out a garden hose and a lawn sprinkler and asked me to tell everyone that it was available for the children. However, the announcement didn't go exactly as planned.
“Hear ye, hear ye! Unto all parents, be it known that a hose and sprinkler as been made available for the recreation of the smalls on sight...”
To this I was instantly cut off by no small number of adults saying “Only the kids?” or “What's the age limit?” and “Can I play too?”
I paused, shrugged, and then went on with. “... for the enjoyment of smalls of all ages on site. So, if you do not wish your child, sibling, or spouse to return to you sopping wet, it would behoove you to make your opinion's known to the lady who is supervising the sprinkler, as soon as possible.”
As I walked back into the shade, a lot of the fighters and adults were making comments like “Heck, wher'es the line?” and “You go ahead, son. I'm right behind you.” It was all very amusing.
A final foot note to the whole water thing, later on that say I saw a child standing in the stray of the sprinkler, and she was completely soaked. I doubt she could have gotten any wetter if she would have jumped into a pool. Well as I stood there and looked at her, I wondered to myself if her mother was aware of just how soaking wet she was.
Well my question was answered a moment later when I saw her mother walk out into the spray of the water to wet her wimple down.
Next thought: “never mind, I think she knows.”
I was recruited last minute, (think, 90 seconds warning) to herald the event's court for there excellencies Eldern Hills and Northkeep. I didn't exactly have my stuff with me, so I improvised, and worked with it. It wasn't a royal or baronial court, and Mooneschadowe didn't have its own Nobles, and I was opening the court for two sets of nobles....
Oh, and did I mentioned that it was bloody hot?
So, I just winged it with “This does now open the court held in, and for, the province of Mooneschadowe.”
This was the first, and probably only event I have ever been to where an award was given out for best heraldry. Ian did the honors with that, pointing out that a lot of people helped herald (and they did). But then he added that there really was one primary herald for the day, and guess who that was.
My prizes were actually very functional as a herald. There was a ceramic mug, one of those fake books that is actually a storage box, two pewter rings that I think I will use as signets, a heating pad, and a small pad of paper. All in all, truly practical things for a man in my field, so it was a touching gift, I must say. I think the book will be of special importance because I am very annoyed when I have to cry a court and carry an extremely mundane looking pad of paper up there. This will give me a cover for my mundanity, something I will be glad to have.
As an aside from the event itself, the public face of its location lead to an article in the Stillwater News press the following Sunday, and a number of people coming by to ask about us. All told, I think that the event effectively paid for itself with the publicity alone, regardless of what monetary shortcomings we might have had.
If I had it to do over again, I would suggest changes, but I certainly would look forward to seeing something like happen again.
Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"