Your humble Webmaster is also the member of St. Wolfgangs who drives the truck to and from the various events, and helps oversee the loading and unloading of each event. Since its getting harder and harder to come up with new words (and pictures) to describe an event we have done three years in a row, I thought you might be interested in hearing how we actually did the setup and takedown for Robin Hood Days this year.
We have a 10 x 30' storage unit that we share with Overton Safety, the Duke's company. We use slightly more than half of it with our assorted tents, props, furniture, and all the little things that go into creating the Bavarian village in which we perform.
We also had the elements of the First Place Winning!!! Starlight parade float (click here for details) stored in Assistant Guildmaster Dan DeMoy's garage, awaiting the float's recreation at Robin Hood Days.
Our setup began Thursday around Noon when I picked up the big yellow 15 foot truck from Ryder Truck Rentals. I drove back to our shop where we loaded a few things into the truck before heading out to the storage unit. We were travelling in convoy with our 1970's vintage motor home (loaded with costumes and supplies for the weekend) and our Aerostar van (which was loaded with the puppets, props and sets for All in a Knight's Work, the puppet show being presented by Guildmaster Steve Overton's Olde World Puppet Theatre on Saturday).
Eight of us loaded the truck at the storage unit and began the 25 mile drive to Sherwood, Oregon, where Robin Hood Days is held. We arrived at about 5:00 p.m. and unloaded the truck in the city park in front of the Sherwood Police Station. That took about an hour, and as soon as the truck was empty, Justen & I jumped back in the truck to go to Dan's Garage and get the pieces of the float. Murphy & Doug met us there and we made short work of loading it on board. While we were on route, other Wolfgang's members were setting up our tents and props in the city park, so by the time we got back, it already looked like our familiar village.
Friday morning dawned cloudy and humid, and the finishing touches were put on the village, while we awaited the arrival of the big flatbed truck (the use of which was donated by Penske Truck Rentals of Oregon -- Many Thanks and a Huzzah!!!) on which we build the float. We were expecting delivery in the morning, but it arrived in early afternoon. We had only five hours to transforn the truck and trailer into our float, so we really had to pump to get it done. Robin Hood Days hires us to use the float on Friday night to drive around through Sherwood, drumming up interest in the festival, which starts Friday night and continues on Saturday. (It's the only Renaissance festival we do that doesn't carry over into Sunday).
Friday evening's activities begin with a knighting ceremony honoring those citizens of Sherwood who have given extra effort to their community. Our noble court helps with the ceremony, dressed in full costume.
Don Groves, the driver came back at 7:15 pm to drive us around the city, accompanied by a Sherwood Police car acting as escort. They pulled out at 7:45, and returned at 9:45. Events one and two completed.
Meanwhile, as they ventured through the city, I jumped in the truck once again and followed by a car full of city workers and volunteers, we went up to Marie Ferry's farm to get the big wooden horses we built last year, and revamped this year. After dropping them off at the park, we awaited the return of the revellers. Upon their return, we parked the trailer, tucked it in for the night, and Don took the semi cab home for the night.
Saturday morning, Don hooked back up, and we reloaded the flatbed with almost all of our members and guests, and it proceeded to a local shopping center which is the starting point of Saturday morning's Parade. Promptly at 10 am, the parade began winding its way through Sherwood back down to Old Town, where most of the events happen. My job was to stay back at the truck's parking place, and keep people from parking in 15 of the most hotly contested parking spaces in all of Old Town.
The problem was that Don needed to get the truck back to the rental yard before he went to work Saturday night, driving a big gasoline tanker for Chevron. That meant he needed to pick up the flatbed by 2:30 in the afternoon. Well, its true that it always takes less time to take it down than to set it up, and we proved it by having the trailer stripped in an hour and fifteen minutes. At two thirty, it was all ready for Don to return it -- we even swept it off.!
I managed to catch part of All in a Knight's Work, since I wanted photos of it for these pages. While I was taking the pictures, the entire back wall of plywood that had been erected as a backdrop (NOT BY US!!!) on the stage, was caught by a gust of wind and started to fall onto the stage. I jumped up and held it up until the show was over, after which we were able to secure it to the pipes of the stage awning.
At 3:45, Doug & I had the float loaded back in the truck and we drove it back to Dan's garage, where elements will be tucked away for next year's float. We were back by 5:30, just in time to start taking down the village and getting ready to go home.
Oh, dear, whatever shall we do with the wooden horses??? Why, take them back to the barn at the farm, of course. So, back in the truck once again, we offloaded them and tucked them in for the winter.
Takedown and loading the truck took until 9:00 p.m., and we adjorned to the local Godfather's Pizza Parlor where we chowed down on Pizza, and spent a couple of hours in good fellowship, all the while congratulating ourselves on a job well done.
We drove home and parked the truck for the night.
Sunday at 2:15, we drove back to the storage unit where we unloaded the truck and put it all away for two weeks, when we'll load everything we took to Sherwood, and a whole lot more, and travel up to Gig Harbor Washington for their two-weekend Faire.
Our heartfelt thanks go out once again to Phil McGuigan, President of the Robin Hood Association and all the other wonderful people who made our stay in Sherwood once again most memorable and mainly a hoot (Thank you Alice Thornton for the sandwiches and the cookies, and especially the FUDGE!!!!-
This year's pictures were taken by your reporter and webmaster, Marty Richmond, and after reading the above, you might not be surprised that there are not a lot of them.
In Mid-August, Ken & Bobbi Overton (the Duke and Duchess), and Steve Overton (our Guild Master), traveled back to Sherwood where the Mayor and City Council presented St. Wolfgang's Bavarian Guild a Certification of Appreciation for all of the Guild's good works for the City. To see the certificate, click here.
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