Come one, come all to the 33rd annual Olde English Feast at the Castle of Jeffersonshire the weekend of December 14-16. The theme is “A Court in Transition.” After being directed by music teacher James Wynne for more than three decades, the event is transitioning to the directorship of his successor, Chad Flynn.
Visitors to the feast will be magically transported back in time from the moment they walk through the castle gate. They will stroll down the dimly lit castle halls to attend a banquet hosted by King Charles I. But halt! The first stop is with the shire tax collector, Will Pigsnout, to fork over the tax (ticket fee), if not already paid.
Then it’s off to the Great Hall (aka the Jefferson Township High School cafeteria). Guests will be introduced to those already seated in the hall by the beefeater, John Trumbull, and then escorted like royalty to the table by a serving wench or knave. When all guests are seated, behold the entrance of the Royal Court consisting of the royal family and their entourage. Roles are skillfully played by the Jefferson Township High School Madrigal Singers, who will provide entertainment over the next three hours.
The banquet features a five-course turkey and roast pork dinner. Bountiful merriments include dancing, singing, juggling, skits, morality plays, and sundry entertainments. Be prepared for knightings … and beheadings by the shire headsman, Eric Blunt. The evening concludes with a concert performed by the Royal Court.
And what is the fee for all this splendor? A king’s ransom? Nay! It costs but a pittance for reserved seats: $23 for adults, $18 for students, and $16 for children under 12 (slightly higher for walk-in guests). Group discounts are available.
The Olde English Feast takes place on Friday and Saturday, December 14 and 15, at 7:00 and on Sunday, December 16, at 3:00. The high school, 1010 Weldon Road, is easily reached from Routes 15 and 23. To reserve seats, call 973-697-3535, ext. 5860. Hurry – seating is limited!