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Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

Back in mid-September of last year, the Alexander Farm on Ebey Island in Everett held a pumpkin hurl and medieval faire. This was part of the annual Snohomish Valley Festival of Pumpkins.

People of all ages were treated to some fantastic entertainment. Take the standard autumn quest for jack o’ lanterns, add tents, pirates, Vikings, weapons, crafts, food, all manner of costumed characters, knights, and horses, and you have a blast, pun intended.

After bumpitty-bumping through the parking pasture and paying for admission, you do need to wander around a bit to figure out what’s going on. There is some walking to do but it’s worth it.

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The day’s menu.

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Umbrellaed gnome, pirate, princess, REI gnome. This family was awesome. You can show up in whatever you want– which is how work should be. Every day.

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This weaver had mad medieval skills. He gladly demonstrated the logic behind the loom. It was complex.

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A look down Market Lane.

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Minstrel solo jam.

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One of the merchants.

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A Viking gathering spot. Check out the Etsy shop of my associate in red, who makes much of his own gear, Hearthfire Nordic Wares.

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A pirate on his AYYYYEE-pod. Oh wait, he’s with the other guys.

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Ah, pirates and their cannons. These things are louder than they look. One kid started screaming hysterically after this went off.

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Our emcee, ready for battle, brawls, and merriment. I couldn’t decide which picture I liked better. He did a fantastic job.

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Both adults and children can participate in battles. Here, Team Princess-Cowboy-Wizard prepares to charge.

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And yes, there was a banana. Why wouldn’t there be?

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There was Viking shield wall training.

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Oh yeah.

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Enter the trebuchets. This is the main event. Teams bring their pumpkin launches to the edge of the field, load them up with weight, and send squash hurtling through the air as far as they can.

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This knight and king soaked in the day’s festivities.

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A professional survey team drove this van around the field to accurately measure how far the fat orange fruit were flung. When they were not on the field, corn was occasionally launched from air guns at the targets. It was hilarious.

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Whaachaaa… the pumpkin is already out of the frame but you still see the motion of the launch.

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Swashbuckling spectators ponder the economic advantages of firing plump produce from their cannons instead of metal balls. Sustainability is one of Seattle’s most beloved buzzwords right now.

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Here’s the big boy. At the end of the competition, all of the teams threw their metal weights into his bucket to increase his power. You could launch a Volkswagen from this thing. And centuries ago, they would lob just about anything available at their enemies.

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And the emcee’s shelter collapses. There was a strong breeze. Thankfully no Vikings, wizards, gnomes, or bananas were caught in the canvas.

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Enter the Seattle Knights. These lords and ladies are the real deal. Their website accurately describes them as, “(the) Northwest’s medieval combat troupe with excellent equestrian skills, high-energy acting, and choreographed stage combat using real steel weapons.” The knights and their steeds have well-developed personas and you are encouraged to cheer for a particular color.

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Between events the knights bring their horses to the sidelines so spectators can interact with them. There are various breeds and sizes, the oldest of which was an energetic 27. All are poetry in motion.

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There are both male and female knights.

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Off with his head! Literally. This knight beheaded his foe at a gallop.

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Getting the spear through the ring at this speed has to be something like threading a needle while you’re tripping over a pile of Legos. Amazing.

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Knights challenge each other to combat. By the end of this round, she had him at spear point on the ground.

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The thrill of the joust. It was difficult to get a good action shot over the crowd. It is intense to see this event up close.

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What a day. What makes it so appealing is that you wear what you feel like, you get to participate and learn things, and the entertainment involves all manner of medieval weaponry. All area pumpkin farms have unique attributes to draw crowds; we’re serious about our gourd hunting in Washington State. This one basically offered time travel. I hope they have a similar program next year because I plan to bring the whole Fruit of the Loom pack along.

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I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion. -Henry David Thoreau

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©2016 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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Check out this fantastic idea from the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) blog. Kids with celiac disease and food allergies often have to forego Halloween treats– here’s a way to spread cheer and get kids away from candy overload in general.

FARE Teal Pumpkin

This Halloween, FARE is encouraging food allergy families to start a new tradition: painting a pumpkin teal and placing it on your porch as a sign to other families managing food allergies that you have non-food treats available at your home. Your teal pumpkin is also a way to raise awareness in your neighborhood about food allergies!

Purchasing inexpensive non-food treats to hand out is a great way to include all children in trick-or-treating, and we hope that the Teal Pumpkin Project will be a tradition for years to come.

Examples of non-food items include: glow bracelets or necklaces, pencils, markers, boxes of crayons, erasers, bubbles, stamps, mini Slinkies, whistles or noisemakers, bouncy balls, coins, spider rings, vampire teeth, mini notepads, playing cards, bookmarks, stickers, and stencils. Oriental Trading or Amazon are websites used by many parents to order these items (visit smile.amazon.com to shop on Amazon and donate a portion…

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This Just Ain’t Right

Imagine strolling into a family garden and finding HEADS growing on the flowers. Thanks to the devious genius of my uncle for the “D’OH!” moment when I turned around and saw this. But this could be the way genetically modified crops are going…

Evil Flower 1

Evil Flower 2

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Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.
-Edgar Allan Poe

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©2013 H. Hiatt/wildninja.wordpress.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninja.wordpress.com.

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While out and about today I saw a sign that was worded the same as this one, which has a similar design.

My first thought was “STOP TRICK OR TREATING!” as if this were some sort of protest against the tradition of knocking on doors to get sugary, fattening wrapped items. (more…)

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Every year this giant spider greets travelers along Market Street in Kirkland…

…and this year some dedicated, mysterious people have been decorating the cow and coyote sculpture in downtown Kirkland for every holiday.

I don’t celebrate the devil and dead things part of Halloween, but I admire the creativity that the cow and coyote’s costumers have.

Stay safe out there tonight everybody!

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©2011 H. Hiatt/wildninja.wordpress.com. All
articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be
reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior
permission from H. Hiatt/wildninja.wordpress.com.

Read Full Post »

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