Hear ye!

Published on Thu, Mar 22, 2001
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Hear ye!

A bit of jolly old England is headed to downtown Blaine this summer, complete with jesters, jousters and general jocularity.

The Blaine Kiwanis have put together a summer-long Olde English Market to be held in the parking lot next to the Red Caboose on Peace Portal Drive – at least for starters. “We may have to close down Martin Street – it’s getting pretty big,” said event organizer Ruth Green. The market would run every Saturday from July 7 to September 22.

Green said more than 50 interested vendors have signed up to sell their wares at the market. “The only vendors we aren’t inviting are food vendors,” she said. “We have enough local restaurants that can get involved serving medieval fare – spit roasting pigs and all kinds of stuff.”

Green is working with groups of performers to add period color. “We’ll have archers and archery demonstrations, maypoles, stockades, all sorts of things,” she said. She hopes the Society for Creative Anachronism will draw crowds with jousting matches in chain mail. Other options being considered are Morris dancers and a horse and buggy to bring passengers up from the Plover.

Kiwanis wanted to plan a fundraiser that would help local merchants instead of taking business away from them. “They make money from people coming into town and we make our money from renting tables to vendors,” she said. With the cost of organizing the event, Green said the club has no illusions about making money the first year. “We don’t expect to make a profit until year two, so we’re committed for at least two years,” she said.

The idea of a medieval fair came from the success of similar events, such as the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in California, and the need to set the market apart. “Bellingham has its farmer’s market and White Rock has its swap meet,” she said. “We can’t compete with those, so why try?”

Green said they want to involve city staff and other local groups from Blaine and Birch Bay to make planning a community wide event. “We need to get together and see how we can all complement each other,” she said. A meeting is planned at the Blaine Senior Center April 3 at noon. “Anyone who has suggestions or would like to volunteer is welcome,” Green said.

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