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Looking for a joust? Renaissance Faire returns with faux fox hunt benefit for Spokane Humane Society

Joseph Dellwo, right, a member of the Spokane Renaissance Faire portraying Henry VIII, has the attention of 5-year-old Payton Slick as he explains jousting at a First Night Spokane Kids Night Out event at the Spokane Convention Center on Dec. 31. The Spokane Entertainment Guild’s annual Spokane Renaisssance Faire will be Saturday  and Sunday  at Lazy K Ranch in Colbert. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Joseph Dellwo, right, a member of the Spokane Renaissance Faire portraying Henry VIII, has the attention of 5-year-old Payton Slick as he explains jousting at a First Night Spokane Kids Night Out event at the Spokane Convention Center on Dec. 31. The Spokane Entertainment Guild’s annual Spokane Renaisssance Faire will be Saturday and Sunday at Lazy K Ranch in Colbert. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Among the jousting and the cannons and the costumes at the annual Spokane Renaissance Faire this weekend will be a unique fundraiser for the Spokane Humane Society that features riders atop stick ponies hunting for people representing foxes.

Robert Maddox said he got the idea for the Faux Fox Hunt from a video he found online and decided it looked like fun. “It looked like hide-and-seek and tag all together,” he said.

Children will be dressed up as hounds, and it will be their job to find the “foxes” for the hunters. They can’t speak or point, but they can bark and howl. “Kids love playing like animals anyway,” he said.

People will be able to sign up to be a hunter during the twice daily hunts. A $15 donation will get people a coin that they can trade in for one of the horses during a hunt. The proceeds will be donated to the Spokane Humane Society.

It’s not uncommon for groups to do fundraisers for the Humane Society, said development director Pia Hallenberg. The fundraisers don’t typically involve staff from the animal shelter, which is helpful, Hallenberg said.

“Many people don’t know or understand that we are independent,” she said. “Everything we do up here is funded by donations. It’s very much appreciated when people do this.”

The event Saturday and Sunday will be packed with entertainment, including jousting, a birds of prey demonstration, battle chess, cannon demonstrations and sword fighting. There are also puppet shows and story times for children.

The Spokane Entertainment Guild puts on the Spokane Renaissance Faire, and there is a cast of 40 people reenacting the time period of King Henry VIII, said event co-director Desiree Harrison. She calls the event a “magical opportunity to immerse yourself in history.”

People can simply watch and observe, but people can also be a part of the event by participating in quests that require them to interact with the cast members playing a character. “It’s an adventure,” Harrison said.

Organizers have increased the roving entertainment this year, including Adria the Juggler. She’s known for juggling toilet plungers while telling people the history of the device and cracking jokes. There’s also Wonton the Fairy Smasher, who is supposed to be rampaging about smashing fairies (played by young children) but is in reality a softie who couldn’t win a fight with a stuffed bear.

There will also be plenty of musical entertainment, including Hawke the Bedlam Bard. Hawke frequently attends Renaissance fairs as Gandalf the White and is known for writing songs that appeared on the short-lived sci fi show “Firefly,” said Harrison.

“We’re very excited about that,” she said. “We have people traveling from all over the state to come see him.”

The overall goal is to educate people on the history of King Henry VIII’s time and have fun. “It’s great to interact, build community and have fun,” Harrison said. “It’s almost a lost art. People don’t story-tell anymore.”


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