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Huzzah! Hie thee to yon Regional Park

By: Loryll Nicolaisen Journal Staff Writer
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E.V. Cain Middle School seventh-graders have no reason to say that they have nothing to wear to school this Friday. Sure, the clothes might be a little dated — think 16th century — but these students will come to school prepared for a day of hands-on learning, living by doing in the tradition of the Renaissance. Corsets and chain mail are among period garb to be sported at the Cain’s Crossing Renaissance Faire at Regional Park in Auburn, which will be open exclusively to students Friday before opening up to the entire community Saturday and Sunday. The park becomes an Elizabethan shire, complete with Queen Elizabeth I and her royal court, sword-fighting, magic, dancing and more. “It gives students a living history day with hands-on experience,” said Shirley Paris, an E.V. Cain teacher and one of the event’s coordinators. “You can’t replicate the feeling of the Sherwood Forest in the classroom or with a textbook.” Students all have their roles to play, with costumes doled out accordingly. Seventh-graders Olivia Holmes, Madison Holm and Kelly Mallery poked fun Monday at their Renaissance Faire garments — the three girls are to be decked out in head scarves they called “babushkas” and colorful, if conservative, tops and skirts. “Russians aren’t allowed to show any skin,” seventh-grader Madison Holm said, slightly lifting the hem of her ankle-length skirt. The three girls will run a Russian egg-painting booth at the Renaissance faire, and are among students portraying ambassadors from different countries. The ambassadors, representing countries from Russia to Iran, reflect the school’s diversity, and also teach students and faire-goers that the far-reaching effects of the Renaissance period. “The Renaissance wasn’t limited to just the English or the French or the Italians,” Paris said. “I think we’re trying to show the kids that history doesn’t happen in isolated places.” Seventh-grader Collin Houston arrives at Sherwood Forest Friday dressed for just about anything — he’s portraying a knight, complete with armor and chain mail. “I’m jousting,” he said. “I just have to attack another person. I have some eighth-grade friends, and they told me it was the best thing there.” Seventh-grader Kaitlin Libby is prepared for a laborious day Friday — she’s portraying a peasant. “We have to work in the booths, not like the ladies in waiting and the upper-class people, who just get to sit around,” she said. “We have to work.” That said, Libby’s still excited for the Renaissance Faire. “I think it’s going to be really fun seeing how they lived,” she said. This marks the fifth year of E.V. Cain’s Renaissance Faire, and the second time festivities are open to the community as well as the students. “The community aspect continues this year because it was embraced by the community and hopefully it will be embraced again,” Paris said. “We encourage the community to come in for the educational experience, to have this family-oriented experience.” The Renaissance Faire is run by volunteers and is co-sponsored by the Auburn Recreation District and the Auburn Education Foundation. Opening everything up to the public and expanding from one to three days allows coordinators to attract more professionals. This year’s festivities are enhanced with the participation of 16 re-enactment guilds portraying everything from peasants to Queen Elizabeth I and her entourage. Moving the event off campus and over to Regional Park has been a positive change, Paris said. “We have a very comfortable setting for our fair,” she said. “It really does take you back to the Sherwood Forest.” Regardless of what historical garments the E.V. Cain seventh-graders wear Friday, they’ll all want to remember a more modern creation — sunscreen. The National Weather Service forecasts full sun and highs in the 70s. The Journal’s Loryll Nicolaisen can be reached at lorylln@goldcountrymedia.com, or comment on this story at auburnjournal.com. ---------- In the know: Cain’s Crossing Renaissance Faire Benefiting: Auburn Education Foundation When: May 10-11 Where: Regional Park, 3770 Richardson Drive, Auburn Cost: $10 general, $5 children and seniors Information: Visit www.cainscrossing.org or call (530) 885-8461, ext. 20