Picture yourself at Pennsic, a temporary tent city of 10,000 - 15,000 persons. You are no different than a time traveller who has been dropped into a different dimension in time, and are experiencing the time period first hand.
You are walking on a pathway past medieval ships, canvas pavilion tents, gypsy wagons and yurts. Everyone you see is dressed in clothing from anytime from the late 700 to 1500's , whether it be Japanese, Turkish, Mid-Eastern, German, Mongolian, Flemish, Irish, Viking, Italian Renaissance, French or some other ethnic group. You are truly in another world and another time.
You see the pageantry of the Middle Ages with various ceremonies and parades complete with banners and music. You learn the customs when dealing with Royalty or with your own household or family group.
You hear the sounds of battle, laughter, drumming or music during the day and laughter, drumming and music in the evening. You smell food cooking at various encampments, sample some mead and visit public medieval eateries and shops. There is even a educational facility, namely Pennsic University, where you can attend a multitude of classes---some hands-on--- on medieval life, on topics from building a yurt to weaving a belt or making a purse or headpiece to medieval dance or healthcare.
You may simply witness or physically engage in battle with hundreds of other heavy fighters, either in the woods or on the battle field, or you may choose to engage in archery, fencing or thrown weapons (axes or knives). There are also activities for the children such as boppers or the water battle. You may choose to volunteer to be a water bearer at battles, a guard at your camp, or assist in many other ways. Your involvement and your experience of Pennsic is as varied as each individual who attends. Everyone is looking for something different at Pennsic and there is no shortage of experiences.
You may choose to fully engage in the both the daytime and night time activities or simply sit and visit with other like minded persons. There is no television and no game systems to distract and no Ipod to listen to, (though there are furtive looks by some at their futuristic devices ie.cell phones, watches, e-readers and cameras), so that life is spent instead truly experiencing everything around you, without distractions. "
Pennsic is an experience not to be missed.
By Janette Long
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