Faire is a trip through centuries

7 months ago

Limestone stepped back through time this weekend as people sporting elven ears, wearing medieval costumes and carrying swords celebrated the annual Renaissance Faire.

Organized by the historical educational group Twin Riverswood, the fair paid tribute to centuries-old crafts, music, archery and swordplay. The theme Hokku: Leaves Ride Wind reflected the Silk Road trade route and the years 1450-1600. 

Amy Kercsmar of Unity plays ancient melodies on her Celtic harp at Limestone’s Renaissance Faire on Sept. 9. (Paula Brewer | Aroostook Republican)

Amy Kercsmar of Unity filled the air with Celtic harp music as people strolled around Albert Michaud Memorial Park for the annual exhibition.

A popular spot on Saturday was the swordplay demonstration field, where a team from Wargames and Roleplaying Guild taught aspects of combat using imitation swords.

“All three kids have been looking forward to this,” said Andrew Ciszewski of New Sweden, as daughter Annika sparred in the ring with Damian Smith, aka Lord Amon of Men of the North.

Damian Smith, aka Lord Amon, teaches Annika Ciszewski of New Sweden the finer points of swordplay during Limestone’s Renaissance Faire on Sept. 9. (Paula Brewer | Aroostook Republican)

Annika’s older brothers actually bought practice swords last year so they could work on their moves, and that ignited their sister’s interest, Ciszewski said.

Craftspeople offered demonstrations, including blacksmith Eugene Katsman of Woodland with his assistant, Ben Chartier of Fort Fairfield. As Chartier worked the bellows to fuel the fire, Katsman pulled a red-hot piece of iron from the coals and hammered it into shape.

At his woodworking tent filled with hand cutters and tools, Matthew Grandy of New Sweden shared the process of wood turning. Chips flew as he operated a treadle and turned a lathe to form a decorative post. 

“In Roman times up to the 1700s, spring-pole lathes were how wood was turned,” Grandy said. His tools are newer than that, but the crafting process didn’t change much through the centuries, he said.

Along with a Renaissance-style clothing tent, crafters sold jewelry, locally made tea, handcrafted soaps and other goods. There were also children’s activities and an art competition.

Alesia McBrayer of Fort Fairfield sets up a jewelry display at her Blue Trinity booth during Limestone’s Renaissance Faire Sept. 9. (Paula Brewer | Aroostook Republican)

Alesia McBrayer of Fort Fairfield attended with her daughter, Jessica Aubrey. The two own the jewelry and decor shop Blue Trinity, where they create some pieces and also enlist designs from other local artists.

Despite wind and a rain shower or two, attendance had been good, several vendors said.