A longsword demo by the Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association.
Photo by Nicholas J. Narog Photography.
Visit Alma, Wisconsin on Saturday, June 8, for Castlerock Museum’s fourth annual Fire in the Shire event, a citywide celebration of all things medieval. Join in for what promises to be an exciting day full of colorful exhibits, demonstrations, food, shopping and family fun.
The event starts at 9 a.m. with a meet and greet with coffee and donuts at the Alma Hotel followed by a knightly procession at 10 a.m. led by an armored horse that will wind its way up to the castle. The parade starts by the Alma Hotel, heads up Elm Street which turns into Orange Street, and then down Second Street to the museum.
Kazimir the Hungry will kick things off at the castle with sword swallowing and fire breathing at 10:15 a.m. The museum opens at 10:30 a.m. and there will be ongoing displays by Clann Tartan and A Life Medieval along with a traditional medieval craft demo.
For many visitors, the highlight will be the fighting demonstrations at the castle. The Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association will demonstrate the longsword at 10:40 a.m. and 2 p.m. and the rapier, dagger, and smallsword at noon and 3:20 p.m. There will be program on armor through the ages at 12:40 p.m. Clann Tartan will do a non-firing matchlock demo at 11:20 a.m. and a pike demo at 2:40 p.m. Bardmageddon will perform in the museum theater at 1:20 p.m. Kazimir the Hungry will be back at 4 p.m. followed by the Uptown-on-the Lakes Morris Dancers at 4:20 p.m. The museum closes at 5 p.m.
The Alma Hotel will provide concessions. Admission wristbands are $6 for adults and $4 for students. Children ages four and under are free. Visitors in ancient, medieval, or renaissance era dress pay half price. Weapons must remain sheathed and peace-tied. Costumes can be bought at Art & Soul.
Visitors interested in searching for the fabled “Holy Grail” in the shops of the shire can enter a drawing to win the treasured artifact along with $100 Alma dollars. The drawing will be held at the castle at 4:15 p.m. Participating businesses include the Burlington Quilt Shop, Pier 4 Café, Fire & Ice, Art & Soul, Alfresco Pizzeria, Red Ram Saloon, Alma Leather, bluebird, Wings Over Alma, Water Lily Gifts, Bill’s Talk of the Town, Alma Blooms, Alma General Store, Spasha Salon / Two Old Crows, Stump Town Gallery, Whole Heart, Junk Market, Napa / River City Parts, Garden Gate, and the Alma Area Museum.
There will be plenty of merry making with the Lasa Anahata Tribal Belly Dancers, FairyLight Muse, and Midwest Renaissance Actors Guild traveling between the various shops on Main Street.
Activities at the city lot, across from the Lock and Dam, will include archery for kids at 11 a.m., additional performances by Kazimir the Hungry at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m., and the Uptown-on-the Lakes Morris Dancers at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
The Brothers Dymm will show off their comedy swordplay at the Big River Theater at noon and 2 p.m. Constant State of Confusion will be juggling at the Hotel de Ville Patio at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. There will also be face painting at Wings Over Alma from 1-4 p.m., a Renaissance Portrait Gallery at the Blue Bird, and a medieval healer at the Stump Town Gallery.
The musical group Bardmageddon will play at the Fire & Ice Gardens at 11:30 a.m. and the Hotel de Ville Patio at 4 p.m. Patina will perform at the Alma Hotel at 1:30 p.m. The festivities will wrap up with a Masquerade Ball at the Empire Room from 5-7 p.m. featuring Bardmageddon.
Check out the museum’s Facebook page or www.fireintheshire.com for a complete list of the day’s activities. For event questions, contact the museum at 608-685-4231.