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Robin Hood Festival celebrates 60 years

by: COURTESY PHOTO: CINDY CADDELL - Maid Marian knights one of her loyal subjects as members of the Maid Marian Royal Court, including Robin Hood and his Merryman (and Merrywomen), look on.The Sherwood Robin Hood Festival is celebrating its 60th anniversary this weekend.

With festivities celebrating the first official festival in 1954, this year’s community celebration promises to be a special event for people of all ages, organizers say.

Both modern and medieval, the festival will fill the streets of Old Town Sherwood with merriment on Friday and Saturday.

Four members of the 1954 Maid Marian Court, including Maid Marian herself, will be honored this year as grand marshals in the annual community parade Saturday at 10 a.m.

The pageantry will wind its way through Old Town Sherwood, featuring the theme “Once Upon a Time in Sherwood.”

The 2014 Maid Marian Court, Robin Hood and his Merry Men and the Festival Marching Band will accompany Grand Marshals Janice (Swenson) Becker, 1954 Maid Marian, and 1954 court members Yvonne (Adams) Scheller, Imogene (Dittman) Kleinschmit and Joan (Petersen) Tallan. Original members of the Sherwood Merry Men have also been invited to accompany the court.

Knighting ceremony

Four visiting archers from Nottingham, England, will be officially welcomed by the city and knighted Friday at 6 p.m. prior to their participation in the 59th annual International Archery Tournament with Nottingham on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Edy Ridge Elementary School, 21472 S.W. Copper Terrace.

As many as 80 archers in each locale participate in Sherwood and Nottingham, sharing their scores as part of a rivalry tradition that began in 1956. Several divisions will be offered for archers young and old, with pre-registration recommended.

Music and merriment

There will be dancing in the streets as the popular band Hit Machine performs both Friday and Saturday nights, with a beer and wine garden featuring selections. Musical groups performing many different styles of music will be featured on the main stage throughout the festival, including African music of the Obo Addy Legacy Project on Saturday following the parade.

Free entertainment for all ages is offered Friday night and all day Saturday, including a teen dance on Friday night.

The Portland Recorder Orchestra will perform medieval melodies Friday evening. The Sherwood Renaissance Singers will perform both Friday and Saturday.

Swordfighting and skits with the Seattle Knights will entertain one and all on Saturday.

Old Town festival

Old Town Robin Hood Festival hours are Friday from 5 to 11 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Festival and tournament gate admission is free.

A vendor village featuring more than 100 booths will offer a variety of food, crafts, products and activities throughout the Old Town festival.

Free arts and crafts activities for kids, castle and tower building contests and a flower and plant exhibition will take place on Saturday.

Sherwood’s talented Voices for the Performing Arts is producing Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” on the Cannery Square stage Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 for students and seniors and $10 for adults.

“Beauty and the Beast” characters will host “Tea with Belle” events at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Each child will receive a cookie and drink, read a story with Belle, and have plenty of time to take pictures and get autographs from the cast. Tea tickets are $5 per child.

The play and accompanying events typically sell out, so advance ticket purchase is recommended at vpafoundation.org.

60 years in the making

An exhibit highlighting photographs and mementos from 60 years of Robin Hood history will be on display at the Sherwood Heritage Center, 22552 S.W. Park St.

The festival has a rich and colorful past. A philanthropic group called Robin Hood and his Merry Men was formed right after World War II and started appearing in Portland-area parades, with a fall harvest festival launched in 1952.

In 1954, the Sherwood Robin Hood Festival Association formed, and in 1956, Sherwood challenged Nottingham to an international archery competition, which has been intensely competitive over the years.

For more information, visit robinhoodfestival.org.



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