Fighters from the Adrian Empire reenactment group do battle during the Southampton Renaissance Faire. In back, Queen Amy Lehman talks with another lady. -- FILE PHOTO
Fighters from the Adrian Empire reenactment group do battle during the Southampton Renaissance Faire. In back, Queen Amy Lehman talks with another lady. -- FILE PHOTO

Archived Story

Faire offers respite from modern age

Published 10:03am Friday, April 11, 2014

COURTLAND—The organizers of this weekend’s Southampton County Renaissance Faire invite people to put away their tablets and cell phones for awhile and experience life in another time.

The festival is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Franklin-Southampton Fairgrounds, 25374 New Market Road, Courtland. There’s no admission charge.

“For me, it’s just that I’ve always been fascinated by the time period,” said Garrett Piersa, one of the founding members of the Faire. “I’ve always been interested in castles, wars, royalty, how people lived — all aspects.”

Visitors will get “a chance to step back in time,” he added. “People don’t get many opportunities to do that in our fast-paced and high-tech world. It’s nice to leave the 21st century for a time.”

Now in its sixth year, and at a larger venue, the Faire is the culmination of dream shared by Piersa and other “awesome, awesome” people.

For his part, Piersa, 20, is coordinating stage performers and vendors. He sends out contracts and makes schedules of who will perform and when.

Then there’s his part as the poor cousin to the Faire Queen, Amy Lehman. Piersa said his character is three times removed from Her Majesty, and has been in trouble with the law for one count of piracy and also consorting with spirits.

The weather forecast looks promising, he noted, and attendance could match if not.

The first strong attendance was 500 people in 2012, and 1,000 in 2013.

“Before that, it was still very small,” said Piersa. “The vendors’ presence really helped. People came from Charlotte, Raleigh, Charlottesville, Washington, D.C., Richmond — all over the place.”

He added that more than 2,000 people have been invited for this year, and organizers are hopeful they’ll show up, especially with the good weather forecast.

Last year’s theme was devoted to all things Celtic, and included the countries of Ireland, Scotland andWales. This year, Kingdom of the Bards. Williams Shakespeare and other storytellers and singers will be featured.

“We’re focusing on the 16th century,” he said.

To learn more, contact Piersa at 556-3887. You can email southamptonfaire@yahoo.com or visit www.southamptonrenfaire.com.

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