Ancient Highland Games Demo

This past Saturday, in an effort to support the Barony, I attended the SCA, Barony of the Bridge demo at the 10th Annual Rhode Island Scottish Highland Festival. Our outfit had been placed at the end of the field because of our needs regarding archery. We made quite a good showing and very popular by all accounts later on. There was plenty of heavy list action all day long and under the tents, demonstrations of arcane arts went on.

In the background of all this was , of course, was the festival itself. Literally dozens and dozens of bagpipers seemed to play all day long, while crowds plied the food areas and the many vendors and exhibitions. There were many tents labelled with clan names and I believe from the roar of distant crowds some of those gut busting heavy item tossing events that those Scottish lads seem to really get into were happening. It was large festival with everything to make a crowd happy. A great time indeed! The weather had turned from storming all night and it was another charming sunny and windy day much like at Balfar’s Challenge. However, I was not caught unawares this time! Hat and sunblock were in force.

With Mistress Avelina in charge, Aedwyn of Bridge and myself worked the archery field. This work consisted of target shooting and talking to the crowds of inquisitive and surprisingly interested people. I left the bulk of the talking to those whose can do that more judiciously than myself and busied myself by shooing people away from the business end of the archery range. We also had a novelty waterbag shoot where two bags with water were suspended from a rope. The bag that drained first from being hit by arrows would be pulled upward by the other’s weight thus signalling the winner. Crowds really liked this as did the archers. Kudos to the Ralph the Carter for his brilliant design work on the contraption that allowed it all to happen. Many wanted to try their hands at a bow and see what they could do, however we were neither authorized or equipped to let the public shoot. Perhaps next year! There is just something about shooting sticks into the air that fills one with the happiness. I think it is just the simplicity and chaos of it all : )

Below, two of the Bridge’s finest go at it. In the distance you can see the archery range area. Photo courtsey of Alysander Brokentooth.