A warm day for jousting in Richland

By Annette Cary, Tri-City HeraldJune 29, 2013 

Tana Savage lounged on a wheeled clam shell as her minions pulled her around Ye Merrie Greenwood Renaissance Faire Saturday in Richland.

As a mermaid, walking was all but impossible. Savage, of Kennewick, demonstrated her ambulatory skills on land, taking a few small hops as her scaly tail flapped on the ground.

"I love wearing this even if I can't move," she said. "I've always loved mermaids."

People in shorts, tees and baseball caps mingled with others garbed from earlier centuries and alternate universes Saturday in Howard Amon Park.

There were elves and fairies, knights and ladies, plenty of pirates and an occasional witch wandering the park. Ladies wore snoods, velvet skirts and tight-laced bodices. Little girls wore fairy wings and an occasional balloon sword, and little boys wore eye patches. Men wore kilts, chain mail and leather boots.

But few were as eye-catching as Savage, who topped her mermaid costume with a flowing blue wig.

She spent the last month making the costume, including a week cutting out and sewing hundreds of satin scales to make the fishy part of her costume. What she called "scale mail" formed her metal bra. Latex gills lined her neck and her ears were made from latex shells.

Her clam shell conveyance started life as a sandbox from Walmart before she spray-painted it blue and fixed it on a wagon, she said.

Not only will the costume be an addition to her portfolio as she prepares for design school, but it also was a perfect choice for Saturday's 90-plus degree temperatures.

"They are very warm," said Hannah Tilson, of Kennewick about her Renaissance lady costume and her sister Olivia's peasant costume. Hannah's red and gold brocade gown had yards of material in the skirt and long sleeves.

But perhaps even warmer were the jousters, wearing leather and chain mail as their horses galloped across the grass toward each other.

Behind them jet skies speeded along the Columbia River. But in the park, a crowd clustered along the roped-off arena. Children were told to stand back, but they kept creeping closer to watch the clash as lances hit shields as the horses crossed paths.

Among the attractions at the fair was the Sea Cadets' dueling buckets stand, where participants could throw bags at a lever to douse a monk. But as the temperature grew hotter, more people were paying to be doused than to douse.

"I'm so cold," said a happy and dripping Parker Jacobsen, 10, of Kennewick.

The fair continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with even hotter weather expected. General admission is $9, $7 for kids ages 5-12 and free for kids 4 and younger.

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