The Woodward News

April 6, 2013

NWOSU holding Medieval fair in Alva

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — ALVA--Northwestern Oklahoma State University is offering the public an opportunity to take a trip back in time at its main campus in Alva next week.

Dr. Amy Hall, assistant professor of English, said that several classes and student organizations at the campus have joined together to host the Northwest Oklahoma Medieval and Renaissance Fair on Friday, April 12.

Hall said this is the first time that the campus has organized such an event.

As one of the main organizers of the event, Hall said she sees the fair as a way to share her passion for the Medieval and Renaissance periods.

"I'm a medievalist; I teach all the Medieval and Shakespeare classes," she said.  "And I've attended fairs for years now.  But the closest is in Norman.  So there's a lot of people around here who've not been to one before."

In holding a Medieval and Renaissance fair at Northwestern, Hall said the university is offering the area public the opportunity to participate in "something different for entertainment and education."

The fair will be an all-day event.  "We are having events going from 10 in the morning until 7 p.m. that night," Hall said, noting "some of the events will only be held at one particular time, so there will always be something new going on."

The fair will feature performances by a professional harpist, professional storyteller, and belly dancing troupe, as well as a blacksmithing demonstration.

In addition, Hall said, "several classes and student clubs and organizations are doing different events throughout the day."

For instance, she said some of the English classes will be putting on Shakespeare performances, World Literature students will be offering different culture games and activities, and the mass communication department will have a printing press demonstration.

"The Spanish clubs and classes will have a sort of human museum that will be all about the Spanish and Mexican culture during the Renaissance and Medieval periods," she said.

Several interactive events have been scheduled for children as well, including a petting zoo and a scavenger hunt.

"The lords and ladies will be handing out gifts to the kids once they perform the scavenger hunt around campus," Hall said.

And a treat for all ages will be a "Pirate's Cove" display.

"I have one class that is all writing about pirates and is dedicated to studying the pirate way of life," Hall said.  "So we're going to have a display showing that way of life.  It'll probably include a mock ship and offer different activities for kids and everybody, such as having them dig for treasure and things like that.  We'll also have pirate storytelling.  And somebody may even be captured and put into pirate prison, all in fun, of course."

Hall said the fair will also include "some vendors selling Medieval ware, as well as food and drinks."

The event will "end with a bardic poetry reading," she said, adding "It should be a great time overall."

The fair will held across campus with most of the performance events held at the NWOSU student center in the center of the campus, Hall said.  The vendors, petting zoo and Pirate's Cove activities will be located near the practice field by the university's wellness center, that sits just off Highway 281, she said.

"Campus maps and programs will be available and you can get them at any of the major event locations," she said.

Admission to the Northwest Oklahoma Medieval and Renaissance Fair is free and open to anyone.

The public is invited to attend and encouraged to dress the part and don period clothing if they so wish.

"The more people that dress up, the better," Hall said.

However, those attending the fair should keep in mind that parking at the NWOSU campus is limited.

"They need to make sure they park along main roads where parking spaces are available," Hall said.

Since the event will include a variety of child-oriented activities, the assistant professor said that school groups are welcome to attend the fair.

"If schools are coming, I ask that they let me know how many buses they will be bringing so we can figure out where to put them all," she said.

For more information or to schedule a visit by a school group, contact Hall's office at (580) 327-8428.