Ye! Hear Ye!
By Dan Reany
The Winchester Star
August 10, 2002
Lords and ladies of the royal court of Winchester Parks and
Recreation gathered in the shire known as Jim Barnett Park
for a day of fish catapulting, juggling, acting, and crafts.
Malone, 7, has a laugh while assisting "Chance
Darewithal" Jim Nieb with a magic trick Friday
afternoon as part of the Renaissance Fair in Jim Barnett
Photo by Scott Mason
Friday was the glorious culmination of Renaissance Week for
the dozens of children in Summer Fun Day Camp, run by the
Winchester Parks and Recreation Department.
The Maryland Renaissance Festival loaned performer Chance
Darewithal (otherwise known as JIM
NIEB) to the children of Winchester for the
After Darewithal’s wild performance that included magic
tricks and plenty of laughter, children broke into groups
and walked throughout the park to take part in activities
set up at various stations.
With garlands in the girls’ hair and green felt Robin
Hood hats adorning the boys’ heads, young archers drew
their bows and bravely took turns at trying to slay a dragon
target using nothing more than suction cup arrows.
At the nearby Game of Graces, they used two sticks to launch
decorated rings back and forth.
The men of Parks and Recreation built a small, child-friendly,
wooden catapult that flung fish at a makeshift castle wall.
“I wanted to find a rubber frog for the catapult,”
Lady Leslie Bowery of Winchester Parks and Recreation said.
“But all the catalog had was a rubber chicken, a rubber
fish, and a rubber something else. I went with the fish.”
Throughout the day Friday, Lady Leslie sported an ankle-length
emerald green dress, which she made herself. Besides spray-painting
the cardboard boxes gray to make the castle wall for the catapult,
Lady Leslie also created costumes for the children’s
play. She even wrote the script for the play based on Audrey
Wood’s “King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub.”
No one can get the king out of his bath. One by one they try,
only to wind up in the tub themselves until the whole cast
has joined the king in his bath. The court page finally pulls
the plug, literally, on the scene to get the king out of the
During the day, the young lords and lasses took a brief break
for juice and twisted bread (a favorite during the Renaissance)
at the pretzel station.
In the end, the script-writing, costume-making, castle-building,
game-designing Lady Leslie said all of her work was well worth
it. She added she’d like to add a falconry demonstration
and perhaps some Renaissance dances to next year’s miniature
fair. “This is the best job in the world,” said
Lady Leslie, surveying the scene from the pretzel stand."