April 12, 2005 - 12:00am -- swingbug

This past weekend was Vacaville's first Middle Earth Festival and my own little fellowship gathered to celebrate. On Friday, we met at my house for a pre-festival festival. In hobbit style, we prepared way too much food. We barbecued shish-kabobs and grazed through salads. We raised glasses of homemade mead and toasted to Frodo. We played some Lord of the Rings Trivia and watched The Fellowship of the Ring.

As we sat on my best attempt at elven rugs, drinking mead by candlelight, and pouring over a map of Middle Earth, I wondered at how amazingly cool my friends are. How many twenty-something people do you know who will still come over and play pretend with you? I dearly hope that you know a few. "Playing," in the child's sense of the word, is a skill and if you cease to use it, it disappears along with yours dolls and games and daydreams. You forget how.

The festival was good for a first year festival. Being held in a downtown area and run on little funding (it was free to attend, after all), it was lacking a little in ambiance and entertainment, but they pulled together some wonderful people who were all very into being there (folks who remember how to play, in other words) and that's all it really takes to pull something like this off. I'm eager to see how it comes off next year.

In the evening, we attended a ball celebrating the marriage of Aowyn and Faramir. The ball tickets were $20, but there was a wonderful spread of food that even a party full of hobbits would have a hard time putting a dent in, and we got to dance to spirited tunes of Rats in the Haggis, a renaissance-styled folk band. The dancing was my favorite part of the day. I bruised the balls of my feet prancing about in hobbit feet but I didn't care. I've been humming bits of 400 year old tunes for days. (Ball of yarn...ball of yarn...she was winding up her little ball of yarn...)

For pictures of the festival, check out my photos page. Also, I hear that there will be some pictures posted on the Vacaville Middle Earth Festival website at some point. I'll keep you posted, as always.

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