May 3, 2010 by Lain
Edmonton’s second annual Beltane Faire brought local Witches, Druids, Asatruar and Pagans of every stripe out of their broomclosets and into the sunshine for a fun, activity filled day at Ritchie Hall.
Organizer Ali Ravenwood, of Edmonton, has put together another splendid, much needed festival for Edmontonians. Many know Ali as one of the key organizers of Panfest, Alberta’s largest Pagan festival, now in its 11th year.
Among the sights and sounds, one could find everything from tarot readers to creative healers, organic herbal products, and of course corsets, robes and jewellery for your shopping pleasure.
Step back in time
In medieval times, as now, people believed in witches, fairies and magic and so Renaissance Faires across North America are populated with “magic” folk, and Pagan festivals almost always include period garb and traditions. Maypoles and drum- circles are essential elements in “Ren-Faires across the globe, and Edmonton’s Beltaine Faire is no exception.
Drummers, Dancers, and Knights in Shining Armour
Outside, the hypnotic sound of drums pounding out ancient rhythms calls out to young and old alike. Women dance as children squeal, running circles through the crowd, oblivious to the fact that there isn’t an iPod, laptop, or television set anywhere in sight. A few steps away from the drum circle is where the Knights of the Northern Realm, a local group of chivalrous Knights perform medieval combat .
Inside the hall, local author Barb Galler-Smith displays her new fantasy novel Druids, co-written by Josh Langston, and which, by the way, made the short list for this year’s Aurora Awards- Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards. Her book is available through Edge Publishing.
The day wound down with a pot-luck dinner, and guests were treated to the alluring rhythm of traditional belly dancers.