Sunday, August 8, 2010

War Breaks Out In Western Pennsylvania

Every year around this time thousands of people gather in New Castle, PA for Pennsic War. The Pennsic War is an annual event between the East and Middle Kingdoms of the Society for Creative Anachronism Inc., and is hosted by the Kingdom of Æthelmearc at Coopers' Lake Campground. Now, you are probably wondering what the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is. Well, the SCA is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Their "Known World" consists of 19 kingdoms, with over 30,000 members residing in countries around the world. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events which feature tournaments, royal courts, feasts, dancing, various classes & workshops.

Many of the campsites have authentic period tents, such as this one. While others will have modern day tents or a combination of tents.

The largest activity at Pennsic war is the battles, themselves. Thousands of men and women "suit up" in armour that ranges from the "make shift" style that consists of carpet or bits of plastic to the very elaborate, authentic Gothic plate. Weapons are made from sticks of rattan and can be one or two handed. Most of the battles are field battles but they also have bridge battles, (which is in the photo above) a castle battle and a woods battle.

Other sporting events that take place are archery, knife throwing and one-on-one battles. There are also classes that you can attend from soap making to dancing. And of course there is lots of shopping to be done. Merchants have anything from homemade jewelry to garb to shiny armour.

So, if you happen to be driving on I-79 this week (south of I-80) and see about a mile worth of tents then you've seen where Pennsic is held.

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