Historical reenactment planned at Edgewater Park

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 13, 2002

Visitors to Edgewater Park Wednesday evening should be prepared for things to get medieval as the park is transformed into a portal to the European Middle Ages.

The Shire of Rivenwood Tower will assemble at Edgewater Park that night from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. The group, otherwise known as the South-Central Minnesota Chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), is an international non-profit educational organization devoted to learning about the Middle Ages and Renaissance (A.D. 600-1600). They are a smaller part of the &uot;Principality of Northshield,&uot; a region including Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Dakotas, Northwestern Ontario, Manitoba and the western half of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The group’s name explains its philosophy: taking its favorite qualities from one period and reworking them for a modern environment.

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The event marks a special occasion. Those in attendance will have the rare opportunity to meet representatives of their royalty, who are on a six-day journey through the smaller chapters of the region to meet the members and view their expertise in medieval arts. The field includes dozens of old-world skills ranging from archery and candle making to pottery and weapon smithing. Participants will have the opportunity to display examples of their artisanship at the event. Membership is not necessary to participate.

Chris Harveaux of rural Albert Lea plans to attend the event. His skill in making armor gelled his association with the society.

&uot;I’ve always been into the whole knight in shining armor thing,&uot; said Harveaux, who has made and sold suits of armor for other reenactment groups. However, he hasn’t officially been involved with any groups outside of the SCA.

&uot;I just supply them,&uot; he said.

Though not an official member of the organization, Harveaux has participated with a group from Rochester and, more recently, one from Mankato, which is hosting the event. Harveaux is enthusiastic about the occasion and hopes the publicity drums up enough local interest to form a group in Albert Lea. He said there had been a group here before, but it dissolved before he was introduced five years ago via the Internet. He expects the presence of royalty, however, to attract an entourage, and therefore more participants from around the Midwest.

Royalty in attendance will include Elise Fleming of North Olmsted, Ohio, aka Her Royal Majesty Alys Katherine, Queen of the Middle Kingdom; Lorine Horvath of Fargo, N.D., aka Her Royal Highness Fina ingen A’eda, Crown Princess of the Middle Kingdom; and Sue Gilbert of Madison, Wis., aka Her Stellar Highness Elashava bas Riva, Princess of Northshield.

According to Harveaux, events like this are rare in the area. At last year’s Art in the Park, there was an armored fighting demonstration. He has also held armored fighting practice sessions at his home, attracting as many as 20 participants from the Twin Cities, Rochester, Mankato and northern Iowa. However, Wednesday’s event will be a larger, more authentic experience.

Due to its size and the amount of detail involved, organizing events like this requires careful planning, because of the period foods and clothing. To be historically accurate, it also involves extensive research. Aside from the planning, though, Harveaux said there aren’t any significant difficulties.

&uot;The biggest thing is getting things reserved, about the same as it would be for a family function,&uot; he said.

Anyone interested in medieval recreation and reenactment is welcome to participate. For more information contact Chris Harveaux at (507) 826-3298, or visit SCA’s Web site at http://www.sca.org.