News-Times Publisher John Schrag has taken Nathaniel Torry-Schrag (his son) and Leif Jorgensen (his son’s best friend) to Forest Grove’s annual Medieval Faire since it opened in 2004. This summer, the boys, now 15 (Natty) and 14 (Leif), tried out the new Oregon Renaissance Festival in Hillsboro.

News-Times: Did you have a good time?

Both: Yes.

NT: What things seemed historically accurate to you?

N: Not a whole lot. There was some game-type stuff that could be accurate, theoretically, but at the same time just seemed “Medieval-ish.” Like you could throw knives. You could throw axes.

L: You could throw ninja stars. There was like a pirate booth selling pirate stuff.

NT: Did you do any of those things?

Both: We threw the axes.

NT: How was that?

N: Very amusing. Basically, they made fun of you until you managed to get an ax in the wall.

L: And then they gave you like, more axes if you couldn’t do it. They gave me three extra axes.

NT: Did you do any other games?

L: We did the whack the hammer.

N: We were awful. He gave us an extra swing.

NT: What was your favorite thing?

L: Probably eating the turkey legs. That was amazing. It was good and it just felt Medieval-y. There was like muscle and cartilage sticking out.

N: Very manly. It was a gigantic hunk of flesh.

NT: Natty — your favorite thing?

N: I really did enjoy the jousting. I feel like that’s the coolest thing, like the thing you wouldn’t find at most other places.

NT: Did either of you see the falconry demonstration?

N: I didn’t see the demonstration but I saw a guy with his bird.

NT: What else did you do?

L: We didn’t do a bunch of activities, but we got approached by a bunch of Medieval-type people.

N: Oh yeah, there was this one woman, she just came up to us and she was in character 100 percent of the time. And she has other friends that come up and they’re talking to her. And it’s terrifying.

L: And there was a bunch of like, people sitting in circles, talking all weird-like.

N: You didn’t know really how to respond. It definitely made a very interesting experience.

NT: So is the Renaissance festival just another Medieval fair like the one here in Forest Grove?

L: I think the one we have, pretty much every place is selling stuff. And the one in Hillsboro had a lot more like, activities you could do, like throwing stuff.

NT: Was there anything you didn’t like about it?

N: So Leif and I, our first thing was like, where are the weapons (to buy)? There was one blacksmith who was like, forging stuff and selling like, hundred-dollar things. ‘Wanna buy an old needle-like razor? Three hundred dollars.’

L: There was a helmet for $90. It was so cool.

N: But that’s all there was in the (non-toy) weapons department. It was tragic to me.

NT: What else was different?

N: There was a lot more food. In Forest Grove I think the only thing they have is like hot dogs. I feel like (the festival) had more food that was supposed to like, seem Renaissance.

NT: I heard there were taco stands and sushi.

N: I missed that. I saw mainly turkey legs, pickles, pretzels.

L: It seemed like the one in Forest Grove was a lot more just people trying to make a profit on their own stuff and the one in Hillsboro just seemed more like trying to make it overall a more Medieval experience.

NT: Any other big differences?

N: The area it’s in is probably like five times the area at McMenamins (Grand Lodge), but there’s only about twice the number of things. In Forest Grove, I enjoyed how everything is close together.

L: I thought it was harder to find stuff (in Hillsboro).

NT: Is there anything else you didn’t like?

L: No weapons.

NT: What else would you have liked to have done that you didn’t?

N: I would have liked to have thrown all the weapons (in the booths ).

L: Yeah.

NT: Did you see the tigers?

N: We did see the tiger. That was cool. But they weren’t like, doing anything.

L: Because we were only there at the very end. Maybe they were having them roll over or something.

NT: How about the hot air balloon? Did you take the ride in that?

N: We did not. Maybe because I felt like you were going to go up and be like, “Look — the Hillsboro Airport.” I mean it didn’t seem like a particularly scenic place.

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