April 04, 2020

The best of the Middle Ages will be relived on Saturday, March 28, when this year’s Surry Folklife Festival focuses on the arts, music and folkways of medieval times. More than 50 exhibitors, artisans, musicians and players will gather from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Surry Elementary School.

Fairgoers will mingle with jugglers, peasants selling loaves of bread and knights in armor. They will have a chance to hear the same type of music that once entertained medieval guests at castle feasts and they will be able to witness the clash of swords and shields as noblemen defend their honor by dueling.

Members of the Society for Creative Anachronism from Orono will recreate the mood and atmosphere of the Middle Ages. Members take on medieval names and identities and try during their performances to act in a manner that reflects the chivalry, courtesy, honor and hospitality aspired to by many lords and ladies between A.D. 600 and 1650.

An Ellsworth-based fencing group, interested in historical aspects of that sport, will come dressed in late medieval costumes and demonstrate how noble persons might have fought in tournaments of yesteryear.

Throughout the day, local groups will be selling sweets, soups, sandwiches, cider and other foods in the gym.

Antique Musique, an instrumental trio based in Orono, will perform some of the earliest know music that was danced to and sung on the European continent. Medieval Music, a newly formed acapella group from Camden, will offer a workshop about songs and music of the Middle Ages. Balladeer Dick Swain will perform. Scott Heny, a member of the Northern Border Caledonia Pipe and Drum Corps, will perform and hold a workshop about bagpipes. Also performing will be the Acadia Pipe and Drum Corps.

Other performers include the Surry Elementary School Chorus, the Oakum Bay String Band, International Folk Dancers and Morris dancers.

The festival will offer special puppet shows, storytelling, crafts and music for children.

Admission to the daylong festival is $3 for adults and $1.50 for children. Anyone dressed in medieval costume will be admitted at a reduced rate.

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