Age of Chivalry Festival Takes Visitors Back in Time

The Mahones, The Tossers, Seven Nations Rock the Renaissance

 For the 17th year, a medieval kingdom will take over Sunset Park with lavishly costumed knights, knaves, fine ladies and wenches as Clark County Parks and Recreation presents the annual Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival, Oct. 8-10.

 The festival is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 8 and 9, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 10 at Sunset Park, 2601 E. Sunset Road. Admission is $10 per day for adults and $5 per day for seniors and children ages 5 to 12, ages 4 and younger are free. Three-day passes are $25 for adults and $10 for children, ages 5 to 12, and seniors, ages 55 and older. All tickets are available through Ticketmaster. Three-day passes are only available through Ticketmaster and can be redeemed at the event box office for a wristband Oct. 8, the first day of the fair.

 Several stages located throughout the festival will feature entertainment with costumed performers presenting more than 50 shows per day along with historical re-enactments, jousting tournaments, medieval pageantry and more than 100 artisans – including blacksmiths, stained glass designers, jewelers, wood workers, toy makers, perfume blenders, stone carvers and sword, dagger and armor craftsman – to demonstrate and sell their wares. Authentic food, from fish and chips to an English feast, also will be available as well as beer and ales for adults with proper identification.

 The main stage will feature the Irish rock sounds of The Mahones, The Tossers and Seven Nations. Although they all share a genre, the bands’ sounds are truly individual.

 The Mahones, Irish punk rockers from Canada, formed in 1990 by Dublin-born Finny McConnell and Barry Williams. They later brought on board Dominic “The Bomb” Whelan on drums; Sean Ryan on bass and vocals; Katie McConnell on accordion and vocals and a revolving lineup of musician friends from around the world. Throughout the years, The Mahones have shared the stage with Dropkick Murphys, Shane MacGowan and the Popes, Billy Bragg, The Band, The Buzzcocks, The Tragically Hip, Sinead O’Connor, Flogging Molly, Van Morrison and The Pogues, just to name a few. The fact the band’s name rhymes with The Ramones is no accident as their Irish punk style transcends traditional Irish and punk music genres. Eight CD releases after their first gig on St. Patrick’s Day, the band is celebrating its 20th anniversary tour.

 The Tossers were born out of the neighborhoods in Chicago’s south side in the early 1990s. Traditional Irish instruments such as the mandolin, fiddle, tin whistle and banjo mix with the hard edge of guitar, bass and drums, ranging “between rage and raucousness” but never too hard for a good ole Irish ballad. The band currently celebrated its fifth full-length CD release “Agony,” the second on Victory Records. The Tossers has held its own on stage with the likes of the Popes, Dropkick Murphys, Stiff Little Fingers, Black 47 and Flogging Molly.

The “Lancaster Intelligencer Journal” pinned down Seven Nations’ sound with one quote – “Seven Nations taught a crowd of nearly 10,000 one important lesson: bagpipes rock.” The band, which gets its roots as much from folk as dance and fusion rock, began in New York City in 1993 and has been touring full-time for the last 16 years. In that time, the band has played every state in America along with stops in Europe, Canada and Puerto Rico and at major events such as the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, New Year’s Eve at Scotland’s Royal Mile for more than 40,000 spectators and the New York City Marathon. A distinctive bagpipe and fiddle-heavy sound has garnered the band attention from the advertising world to the orchestras of America. Along with stints with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Jacksonville Symphony and the South Carolina Philharmonic, Seven Nations was the first Celtic rock band to perform with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra at the outdoor Dublin Irish Festival.

 Along with concerts all weekend, the fair will host a royal parade with kings, queens, warriors and peasants on Saturday and Sunday. The festival also offers full-contact jousting tournaments; no-holds-barred gladiator battles; black powder demonstrations, strolling minstrels, contortionists, magicians, storytellers, jokers, jugglers, flame eaters, belly dancers, trained parrots and pirates. Additional attractions include bow and arrow and axe target games, medieval barber and surgeon demonstrations and Renaissance guilds. In the 16th-century village, German, Italian, Ottoman Turk, French, Celtic, Polish and British military encampments meet on the Field of Honor for battle.

 No carry-in food or beverages, pets, lawn chairs or weapons are allowed inside the festival area. Patrons may bring one sealed bottle of water. No unauthorized vending, concessions, merchandise, literature or promotions allowed. Any participants in costume must have all related props or weapons peace tied, or those items will be denied at time of entry. No re-entry is allowed.

 Event sponsors include the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Miller Lite, 98.5 KLUC, KXNT News Radio 840, 107.5 Xtreme Radio, My LVTV, The CW Las Vegas, 100.5 Jack FM, Mix 94.1 FM and KYDZ Radio. Those interested in the Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival can call (702) 455-8200 or visit the website at www.lvrenfair.com. Clark County Parks and Recreation events also can be found on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook by visiting http://tinyurl.com/l87c4l.