BLACKFOOT, Idaho - It's not just in the movies you can see brave knights and soldiers competing for a royal title. Blackfoot had a little taste of the Renaissance Saturday.
It was like stepping back in time hundreds of years. Brave knights fighting for the honor to defend the Baroness while onlookers feasted on handmade foods, wearing clothes and armor also made by hand.
"We learn everything that was done in the Middle Ages," said Cross Reardon, Lord, Bard and local spokesperson for the Society for Creative Anachronism. "It's not just the fighting, the arts and the sciences. It's wood-working, leather-working and even brewing. In fact, our feast that we're going to have tonight is a Middle Eastern feast, so it's all Middle Eastern style foods from the Middle Ages."
Saturday's SCA event was called Baronial Champions at the Barony of 1,000 Eyes, the name of the local chapter encompassing Idaho Falls through Pocatello. It is part of the larger kingdom of Artemisia, spanning Montana, southern Idaho, most of Utah, and western Colorado and Wyoming.
For more information about the SCA and the geography, follow this link: www.sca.org/geography.
"We also a visit from the Baroness of Loch Salann," Reardon said, "which would be Salt Lake."
One of the main events was the battle, which many people participate in; even the Kind and Queen of Artemisia had to battle their way to the crown. While it may look like stick-fighting at first glance, it's much more difficult than that.
"The weapons they're hitting with are wood," Reardon said. " It's like getting hit in the head with a baseball bat."
Additionally, they wear real chainmail, heavy helmets and shields, which can add up to about 60 pounds of additional weight. While it was a competition, Reardon said the spirit behind it is a welcoming place for all.
"We really highlight the chivalry, the honesty, the honor, all of those real ideals," he said. "So ladies come and find all the doors open for them, men carrying stuff for them, bending over to kiss their hand."
Reardon said that honor carries over into battle as well. For example, landing a blow on an opponents knee means they must drop to their knees, A strong enough blow to the head, and your opponent must signal you they have been defeated. But even after the fight to the death, the group is tight-knit.
"We're all really trying to make the best out of things, and make the world a better place, that's the really nice thing about the society."