There are some places you should not go, and some people that you should just avoid. They are like flypaper for trouble. They exude antisocial behavior and stir up strife and chaos in their path – Hooligans – Vagabonds – Ruffians. These kinds of people can be found in seedy places looking for opportunities to strike against the innocent and unsuspecting. Fortunately, we did not encounter any such people at the Festival of Skalds.
We found upstanding citizens who were orderly, organized, and well-groomed … for Vikings.
The Festival of Skalds was more like a business meeting crossed with a dress rehearsal for a play than an actual festival. Set in the northernmost part of Minnesota, it was the precursor of what is to come in a few years. And it was pretty fun too. We are organizing a not-to-be-missed event that will open potentially as early as 2018. And when I say “we,” I really mean someone else is doing the work and I've been invited to participate.
As it happens, the real organizers are the ruffianest-looking people in these pictures. My brother, Micah, is the visionary for this operation. He is the craftsman behind most, if not all, of the wooden and metal items they sell. He is also the custodian of “The Legend of the Iron Ranger.” In this picture, he looks like a raiding Viking with villainous intent. In his real life, he looks more like a raiding Viking with villainous intent, wearing modern clothing.
Despite looking like a Gypsy peddler trying to sell you cool things, my sister-in-law, Jacinda, is the brains behind the whole operation. She does all the leather goods crafting, but also handles the mountains of organizing involved in any event of this proportion. She definitely has her hands full.
And while Micah and Jacinda won at the costume game, there were numerous others who also did well. Their daughter has that “I don't know I'm a princess being raised as a peasant” look. And my dad effortlessly pulled off the monk look.
My wife and I went for a Gypsy look, mostly because I write about Gypsies and other people (and Boathouse Mouse) who wander off on adventures. I'm not sure where I get that stuff. Our costumes were less than outstanding, but this was the practice run, and when we go for round two … look out!
Several others with good costumes managed to avoid being photographed. And then there was Rachel. She is married to one of my nephews. I guess that makes her my niece-in-law. She came in a stunning dress that looked to be professionally made to fit her. Her story is she made it herself … when she was twelve! I'm wondering if that was a cover story and she really is royalty. Perhaps she didn't want us to have to defer her as Lady Rachel, or My Lady, or any variation that would keep us peasants from getting locked up in the stocks. Anyway, you be the judge. Is that not striking?
Maybe she will go into the costume-making business and we can get that level of professional look in our own costumes.
In all, Boathouse Mouse had an absolute blast at the first Festival of Skalds. He's looking forward to the next event.
Check out the links for how to get into all this amazing stuff.