Andrews Park in Vacaville is already home to a medieval-themed playground complete with a concrete dragon and a pirate ship, so it’s easy to imagine a group of sword fighters and craftsmen coming together for tournaments dressed in fancy dress. medieval armor and clothing.
That’s exactly what park visitors saw on Saturday as the Society for Creative Anachronism staged “Champlain Drake’s Treatise Rapier Battle” on the grounds of Andrews Park Amphitheater.
The SCA is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to researching and retaining pre-17th century skills such as archery, woodworking, horsemanship, costume making and more. others, according to the organization’s website. The group was founded in 1966 by a group of history teachers and science fiction writers at Berkeley.
“It has grown from a group of people in a Berkeley backyard to a literal worldwide organization,” said Beth Richard aka Mistress Telynor.
The organization requires its members to register with the name of their choice upon joining, so that their banner and flags are easily identifiable in battles and competitions, according to Richard. Names are unique to each member, so no two people can have the same one.
The rapier battles and other tournaments organized by the SCA, some of which also feature replica siege weapons and ballistae firing foam-tipped spears, are the most public events. One of their other popular events are “heavy battles”, where members fight with heavy weapons like swords and axes to win the title of prince or princess of their local principality under SCA rules.
The group also holds horse training, art competitions, poetry and various other crafts, according to longtime member Steven Fitts, registered as Morgan Fredric Ward.
“I work leather, I cook, I bake,” Fitts said. “A lot of us make or buy our costumes. My helmet that I bought from another merchant.
Fitts said his usual gear for battles consists of 16th-century Japanese-style armor with a long spear that he uses for duels. He has been a member since 1985 and has since participated in sieges, rapier battles, and arts and crafts contests.
“Champclair Drake’s Treatise Rapier Battle” was one of many first public events held by SCA members since their brief disbandment in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many more planned for the near future. . The group also holds large-scale “wars” in much larger venues in Southern California and across the country for audiences that sometimes reach 2,000 people.
“We are a group of friends who miss each other after two years apart,” Richard said.
“The Western Kingdom”, aka the State of California, is currently the subject of the “Great Western War”, where SCA warriors from the various principalities of the state fight for the king’s throne and of Queen Cyrus and Caitriona of the West. .
The main event of the war will take place on October 4 at the Buena Vista Water Recreation Area in Taft.