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Sword Fights and Knights-Renaissance Fever Sweeps Carey
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Members of Order of Thorns combat group, based in Rexburg, entertain crowds at the Central Idaho Renaissance Fair in Carey.
   
Friday, September 16, 2022
 

BY KARMA METZLER FITZGERALD

It’s not every day you hear children chanting “blood and guts” at the Blaine County Fairgrounds, but this past Saturday wasn’t an ordinary day there.

The children, many dressed in medieval costumes, were cheering on members of the Order of Thorns Combat Group, of Rexburg, who were entertaining the Saturday morning crowd with sword fights and stories.

This marked the second year for the Central Idaho Renaissance Fair. It was the brainchild of Carey’s Richaela Peck and began as her senior project at Carey High School.

 
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Paige Swanger, of Rexburg, portrays the Enchanted Statue, who comes alive when coins are placed in her fountain nearby.
 

“I knew I needed to do something for my senior project, and I was watching Merlin on Netflix and I wanted to do something with jousting,” said Richaela Peck, now a freshman at BYU-Idaho.

Her parents suggested a renaissance fair. The thought intrigued Peck who said she and her siblings would sword fight with sticks growing up. Jousting at a renaissance fair intrigued her.

“There’s horses, and I love horses, and then there’s knights and you get down and dirty and there’s, I guess, the potential risk of injury,” she said, with a mischievous smile.

Though the event has yet to feature jousting, the idea of a renaissance fair caught on.  She organized the first fair in just a few weeks last summer. With more time to plan, the event grew substantially from last year to this. 

 
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Samantha Owings, of Provo, Utah, also known as The Mistress of Melody, plays for crowds at the Central Idaho Renaissance Fair in Carey.
 

Roger Peck, Richaela’s dad, said this year’s event featured more booths and vendors. The family has traveled around to the region’s other renaissance fairs to get ideas and make contacts and this year’s two-day event featured acts from throughout the Intermountain West. 
“We’d like to keep it growing and get more entertainment,” Roger Peck said. “We’re trying to raise a little money to provide scholarship for kids in the area who want to study history and performing arts.”

Joey and Paige Swanger traveled to Carey from Rexburg to perform at the fair. Paige portrayed an enchanted statue who comes to life when coins are placed in her fountain. Joey Swanger said they came up with the idea as something to do while traveling to renaissance fairs with friends.

Fairgoers could get cart rides from miniature ponies or get princess lessons. Some vendors sold capes, knives, and other wares perfect for renaissance fair fans and history buffs. Several food and drink booths were there as well as crafters and apothecaries. One tent offered palm readings.

LuAnn and Jerry Cramer of Richfield demonstrated how to felt wool. Jerry Cramer said the craft is a way to stay in touch with their Viking heritage.

 
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Jerry and LuAnn Cramer of Richfield demonstrate the art of felting wool during the Second Annual Central Idaho Renaissance Fair in Carey.
 

“It’s important these old skills don’t die out,” he said.

The event culminated in the Kings Feast Saturday night with a meal prepared by Big Johns BBQ of Carey and the crowning of the fair’s king and queen, an honor voted on by members of the community.

This year it was Roger and Rebecca Peck, who were recognized for their work in organizing the fair.

 

 
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Richaela Peck started the Central Idaho Renaissance Fair in 2021 as part of her senior project at Carey High School.
 

Karma Metzler Fitzgerald is a Shoshone based writer and can be reached at karmawrites@gmail.com

 

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