It's been 26 years since Ye Merrie Greenwood Renaissance Faire took root at Howard Amon Park in Richland.
This weekend, the faire once again will turn the park into a modern-day Sherwood Forest.
"What makes (the faire) special is the people who return year and after," said Marjorie Kunigisky, who has organized the event since it started. "Some of the audience is returning to see acts they enjoyed at the first Greenwood Faire, such as Payne the Magician or Tania Opland. And some to hear Mikhailla the Gypsy Storyteller and her crew of wacky actors make mincemeat out of well-known fairy tales."
Even if you're not a fan of Shakespeare, the faire's medieval theme has much more going on than people speaking thees and thous.
There will be wild antics by court jesters, ballads by strolling troubadours and dashing sword fights between gallant knights.
The Ye Merrie Greenwood Renaissance Faire runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 23-24 under the canopy of trees at Howard Amon Park. Admission is $9 for adults and teenagers, and $7 for senior citizens and kids 6-12. Ages 5 and younger are free.
Kunigisky promises days full of music, re-enactments from the court of Queen Elizabeth I, and a puppet show that guarantees the audience a good chuckle with the antics of Punch and Judy. The historic puppet show dates back to the 16th century.
"Of course the location of the Greenwood Faire couldn't be better," Kunigisky said. "Graced by the beauty of both the Columbia River and Howard Amon Park, Greenwood Faire has been framed in our own version of Sherwood Forest."
Lisa Sturges, who portrays Mikhailla the gypsy storyteller, plans to weave her twisted fairy tales into a half hour of pure delight.
"When I tell stories, I use my gypsies as well as the Greenwood Swashbucklers to act out the stories behind me," said Sturges, who lives in Portland. "The stories are twisted fairy tales that use a great deal of humor to point out the absurdity of the tales. With sword fighting interspersed in the stories it can make for a fun half hour."
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org