Sunday, April 4, 2010

Falcons, Knights and Minstrels, Oh My!

Springtime is on its way, believe it or not!

With spring comes warmer weather, a chance to get outside (without wearing heavy coats and mittens) and fun events and festivals.  One of my favorite festivals to attend is Rennaissance Faires.  If you’ve never been to one, think of the “Free Credit” ads - except the real thing is much much better!
 Audience members watch as a barn owl soars over their heads
Renaissance Faires combine the exciting history of 16th and 17th century Europe (jousting, kings and queens, knights and minstrels) with many modern-day conveniences (restrooms, ATM’s, pizza and beer).  This combination can make for a very fun day, especially if you visit the falconry show!

Falconry is an ancient sport that dates back more than 4,000 years ago.  But usually when people think of falconry, they think of the Renaissance period.  During those days, falconry was so popular that people would often carry their birds with them on a regular basis.  In 1387, there is even a recorded instance of a complaint where nuns were bringing their hawks and hounds into the church and it was disturbing the sanctity of the services!
Laura MacLeod demonstrates the amazing capabilities of raptors with the help of one of our talented barn owls
Falconry took a major hit, though, when hunting with guns became popular.  It was considered more efficient and trendy than falconry.  However, falconry has survived through the ages and is still around today.  You just have to look harder to find it.  One of those places is the Renaissance Faire.

Come join us as we take you back to the ancient days of the Renaissance.  See beautiful birds soar over your head and learn about their roles both in modern and ancient times.  World Bird Sanctuary participates in two local faires.  One of them is the Greater St. Louis Renaissance Festival, located in Wentzville, Missouri and the other one is the Kansas City Renaissance Faire in Bonner Springs, Kansas.  We hope to see you at one or both this year!

The Greater St. louis Renaissance Festival runs for four weekends from May 15 until June 6, including Memorial Day.  For more information on this fascinating event click here.

The Kansas City Remaissance Faire takes place in September and October—more on this one later.

Submitted by Laura MacLeod, World Bird Sanctuary Education Coordinator

No comments: