Christmas in Camelot

I went to Christmas in Camelot at the Virginia Horse Center a couple weekends ago with my fiancĂ© and a couple friends. I wish there were a few more vendors or merchants, but it was still pretty awesome. So awesome, in fact, that I paid to get in again on Sunday. Everything was set up in Medieval fashion and those participating in the event were dressed in traditional garb which I thought was very cool. It was fascinatingly romantic with the women and their perfectly styled hair and braids reminiscent of the Middle Ages and long dresses or leather frocks and the men in chainmail and carrying weapons like swords and bows. Unfortunately, when we went on Saturday, I forgot my camera, which is why I went back again on Sunday – to get some photos. There was a woman there working on illustrating a page for a book. She was guilding part of the page as well and she had an amazing talent. She was using all Medieval inks and paints for the work and her shop had all kinds of book binding tools and wax and seals to seal envelopes. I’ve always liked seals like that and there was once a time that I was making a seal of my own, but I never got to go to the foundry to make the metal seal itself. Anyways, photo time!

This is Father Christmas (I think).

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He was pretty funny. Oh by the way, I’ve blocked out the faces of everyone to protect the innocent. There were 2 or 3 little girls that kept hiding under his cloak at this time, and they just thought that was the funniest thing. It was pretty funny. He kept walking around with them under there and it looked like he had this giant protrusion from his backside. Saturday I had walked by Father Christmas and his lady friend who were sitting in their tent on throne type chairs. Everyone spoke mostly in Old English, and Father Christmas said “Good Day Lords and Ladies!” I said “Good Day!” and I may have even done a little flair thing with my hand just because I felt so inclined with all the Old English talk and such. It was awesome. Anyways, Father Christmas then eyes me and says “Is there anything you need to tell me?” I know I looked bewildered. And the lady friend said something to the effect of “He doesn’t do the whole naughty/nice thing” I still didn’t know how to respond, so I said “I’ve been very nice all year!” and then I giggled nervously, put my head down and walked at a VERY brisk (practically running) pace past their tent leaving my friends behind. I’m the essence sophistication. <----extreme sarcasm This is another tent. Tent-4 6182

They had musicians playing Christmas songs and carolers singing them. It gave me chills a bit to hear them.

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The King of Camelot.

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This tent was cool because it had dogs outside AND inside it!

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This is Jazzy. She was so sweet. I wanted to take her home with me. She just wanted love. I believe her owners said she was a rescue dog.

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This is an Irish Wolfhound. He was massive and looked like a small horse. He was very friendly though and protective of young children. He actually sort of got between a couple small children and their parents as he eyed the parents to see if they meant harm to the children. Inside the tent were his three pups. Two boys and a girl. I WISH I had photos of them. I almost snuck one of them in my hoodie pocket to take her home with me. The female was incredibly friendly and let me rub her all over.

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I just want to curl up beside him!

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These were the stocks. My friends and I all got in these and the funniest part was that you could hang these little wooden plaques on the stocks that told your offense. My offense was “feet smell.” Of course my feet don’t really smell…. ::nervous giggle:: But I have to say, I think I played the part the best. I acted like I had been in those stocks for weeks. I had my tongue hanging out and my eyes drooping. I should have won an Oscar!

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But probably the coolest thing at the event was at this place. This is also the reason I went back on Sunday.

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I met two awesome ladies, both named Jennifer, one of whom was a Master Falconer (she was also an artist, so I was totally geeking out). On Saturday the Jennifers brought a Peregrine Falcon, Lanner Falcon, and Barn Owl. On Sunday she left the Barn Owl at home and instead brought an Eagle Owl. I was seriously over-the-moon. I could have stayed there all day watching those birds and hearing both the Jennifer’s talk. It was one of those times where I wish I could just absorb all the knowledge someone had through osmosis.

I took these photos of the signs describing the history of falconry because I thought they were incredibly informative. Master Falconer Jennifer W. told me it takes 7 years to become a Master Falconer. You have to go through an intense apprenticeship. I’d love to learn more about this process.

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Let’s get to the bird photos!

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Isn’t she a beauty?

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I love the barring on her breast.

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The second falcon…

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Another stunner.

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I’m in love!

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I had to take a close-up shot of these feathers. They are simply magnificent. I’m amazed at the wonders God has created!

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She was fun because she kept preening her feathers and moving a lot. It was cute to see her feathers all ruffled. She kept making noises too. Jennifer W. could make the same noises back. It was pretty awesome. I tried making the noises when I got home, and I couldn’t do it. I need practice…big times.

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Strike a pose!

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Last but CERTAINLY not least…

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He was aloof, but I was in love…

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I have a huge affinity for owls. I used to work with a screech owl and great horned owl at my zoo, and I always felt honored when I worked with them.

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His coloring was out of this world. As big as he was, he would just be invisible among the trees with those markings and colors.

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Last one! I hope you enjoyed these…I had a great time and plan on checking out more Renaissance events in the area. I also hope I can learn more about falconry and these amazing raptors!
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2 Responses to Christmas in Camelot

  1. Dennis W says:

    Jennifer W, my daughter, sent me your link. Thanks for the kind words about her efforts and the absolutely great photos of some of Jen’s birds.

    • Julie says:

      Well thanks so much for commenting! The pleasure was all mine to meet your daughter. You should definitely be proud! I had a fantastic time at the event thanks to both the Jennifers and the raptors!

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