Duelists battle it out in a tournament on Saturday. -- Cain Madden | Tidewater News
Duelists battle it out in a tournament on Saturday. -- Cain Madden | Tidewater News

Archived Story

People from all over show up for annual Renaissance Faire

Published 11:52am Saturday, April 19, 2014

COURTLAND—Violet, a year-old Boston Terrier, wanted to dress up this past Saturday. Her owner, Rachel Micheletti of Norfolk, finally gave in and took her to the Southampton County Renaissance Faire.

Violet, the Boston Terrier, dresses as a fairy princess -- Cain Madden | Tidewater News
Violet, the Boston Terrier, dresses as a fairy princess — Cain Madden | Tidewater News

“She wanted to dress up, and I finally said, ‘OK, Jeez, we’ll go,’” she said with a laugh. “All of my friends are involved in it, so I wanted to come out and support them. I haven’t been here long, but everything looks really cool. People have done a good job on the costumes.”

Duchess Elizabeth Corvinna, mundanely known as Hillary Gunn, said that this is her second year to be involved in the group, and that it has been really welcoming.

“It’s amazing how many people are coming together to make this wonderful event,” she said. “This is our first year being at the fairgrounds. We were originally at the Courtland library, but we have outgrown it and got this venue. Everything is wonderful here. It’s more spread out, the weather is nice and the costumes look amazing. I’m impressed with all of the work that has gone into this.”

Queen Amy Lehman said she was in her fifth year, and she does it because of the group of teenagers who started the event. Many of the youth are now adults.

“I do it for the kids, and not just the teenagers, but for the visiting kids,” she said. “They love to have their picture taken with me.”

Caldwell Alleyn, commonly known as Chip Caldwell of Charlotte, N.C., puts together the Alleyn Apprentice Players, which is a children’s company inspired by real-life Shakespearean children’s companies. The players, based in Charlotte, get to do events around the region, and they help set up the children to get jobs in the industry.

“It’s a training program,” he said. “They get to go to different parts of the country and perform, and each time they perform, it makes them better.”

They also practice weekly, and when they get older, they can get hired to work with Renaissance Faire troupes, or take other performance arts jobs. Next season, one of the students will be working with the Tortuga Twins, a Renaissance Faire stage troupe that tours the country performing skits, sword fights and comedies.

Martin Connelly, better known as Marco De Verona, practices his knife-throwing skills. -- Cain Madden | Tidewater News
Martin Connelly, better known as Marco De Verona, practices his knife-throwing skills. — Cain Madden | Tidewater News

For Marco De Verona, otherwise known as Martin Connelly of Portsmouth, the Faire life mixes a lot of his favorite hobbies.

“I enjoy camping. I like woodworking. I am an instructor of small arms, knives and archery. It’s basically one hobby that encompasses everything I like,” he said. “I’ve been doing these for 10 to 12 years, but this is my first time here. We’re part of the Barony of Marinus, and they invited us via Facebook.”

The adults and dogs were not the only ones having a good time. Makenzie Piersa, 11, said she has fun with the faire every year. Her brother, Garrett Piersa, is one of the founders.

“I’ve been a part of this every year since it started,” she said. “My favorite part of it is the queen. She’s a very nice lady and very funny.”

Meherrin Elementary student Jocelyn Sadler, 9, was getting her face painted to match her Renaissance outfit.

“I have a pretty good time dressing up for these,” she said. “I’m having fun. My favorite parts are the fairy world and the knight’s tournament.”

Delores Holley heard about it when someone sent her a text message letting her know it was going on.

“I love it,” she said. “This is my first time coming. I would have made a costume, but I didn’t have time. But I’ll be dressed up for it next year.

“There are so many things here. I saw some of the knights battling, and I watched some of the stage activities.

“There’s so much to do, I might have to come back tomorrow if my body allows it,” she continued. She had come on Saturday, and it was a two-day event.

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

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