Fantasy Feast, the traditional “pseudo-medieval festival” was held for the seventh time this weekend. A few dozen people put on fantastic costumes (medieval, mythological, and whatnot) and gathered in the Ahtela camp center to take a break from the mundane.
Although there seemed to be fewer people present than before (the event hadn’t been advertised very widely, which might have played a role) I felt there were enough participants so that the place felt lively and full (and enough to cover all the organizing costs too, I hope). There were a lot of new faces (to me, at least), so the feast did manage to reach a new audience after all. There were quite a few twentysomethings, and they clearly had a lot of fun: singing, dancing, participating in the program and just hanging around the site. That’s a very good sign, should anybody wish to keep organizing these feasts. This year there were also a lot of kids (second generation guests) running around with their parents.
All of the photos below are from Saturday (I was only there for the day this year). On Friday, there was already a competition for the bards, and singing and dancing around the fires. Sunday’s program was (if tradition held) pretty much breakfast and hanging around for a while until the feast ended.
(There are more photos of the feast on my Flickr set.)
Loikkivan lohikäärmeen majatalo (The Jumping Dragon Inn) was the central place where people gathered.
The weather was unbelievably gorgeous once again (if somewhat hot). The place has a beautiful beach which has traditionally been a setting for a big tournament. And so once again, people started gathering on the beach around noon, waiting for the games to begin.
The tug of war—the classic among the tournament events.
One member of the team guided the others, who were blindfolded, in gathering tokens as quickly as possible.
The three-legged race became the four-legged race…
Archery was a fine event, albeit quite tournament-jarringly slow. And beanbag throwing is always harder than it seems.
The big finale was a bit of a letdown—basically just digging around in the sand until one of the finalists got lucky, found the hidden item, and won the whole tournament.
Competitors (team Ihku!) and audience.
Other events for the day: face painting for the little ones, a treasure hunt (for the little ones and the bigger ones as well), a magic wand market at the inn (I don’t think anything was left after the kids went through the selection), a mighty wizard who did neat tricks, and people entertaining themselves (as well as others) by playing music and singing (and I see the little ones seemed to be everywhere).
Guests (including the mighty wizard Pyroforius).
The kitchen staff had prepared a huge four course dinner for the guests (including roasted whole chickens, oxtail, vegetable stew, oven baked vegetables, cheese-and-egg casserole and so on, and baked apples with vanilla sauce for dessert. I don’t think anyone could have eaten a bite more!
The official program concluded with the awards. A special citation was awarded to the Jew’s harp-and-dancing number (to the two little girls doing the dancing, to be exact). Awards were given for success in the bard competition (music number and best story), and also the tournament winner got his award (but was standing his back even more turned to me than the others so there’s no picture).
There was music and dancing.
The wizard was in charge of the fireplace.
At the campfire and in the inn.
All and all it was a succesful feast. Everybody seemed to have fun—the kids most of all—there was enough prearranged program, and the food was great. A big thank you to everybody who toiled to make the weekend happen! (And Inka wants to know when the next time will be!)
Update: Pasi has photos too. Johanna wrote a few words with a couple of pictures, plus more pictures on Flickr. Ben has words (in Swedish) and pictures.
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