Grand olde time: Medieval society invades Prospect Park for bash celebrating centuries past

Duke it out: Knights Zorikh Lequidre and Austin Cantrell battle at the Society for Creative Anachronism’s “PIcnic in the Ruins” in Prospect Park.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

They went medieval on this grass!

Armored knights battled as princesses cut a rug in Brooklyn’s Backyard during a day of good old-fashioned frivolity that showed locals the historical Dark Ages weren’t all doom and gloom, according to a nobleman who organized the affair.

“Basically, it’s good clean fun,” said Count Barry Green, who founded a local chapter of a group that studies pre-17th-century medieval-European cultures, the Society for Creative Anachronism, which bestows titles to those in its ranks.

The society’s free April 29 gathering at Prospect Park’s Grecian Pavilion boasted all the staples of ye olde Renaissance faire, including combat sports, arts and crafts, dancing, and concerts featuring bards who regaled the crowd with ballads even your great-great-grandma is too young to remember, Green said.

“It’s sort of like a multi-ring circus, with many things going on at the same time,” he said.

And although the festivities may have outwardly evoked life in Europe before the 1600s, the society’s social constructs couldn’t be more different from those hierarchies that defined the Middle Ages, according to Green, who described the organization as a meritocracy that bases ranks on skill and character, where anyone who performs daring feats at its annual get-togethers can rise to become king.

“It’s the medieval ages as they should have been,” he said.

And almost all of the attendees crafted their own old-timey getups for the bash, which included cloaks and tunics, along with genuine suits of armor — some of which were the result of years of manual labor, according to Green.

“In the past I made a shirt out of quarter-inch hardened-steel links, and I worked on that over three years,” the nobleman said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Dance off!: Nicole Nielsen teaches medieval dances to members of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

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