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renaissance festival


The annual renaissance festival delights once again Alana Tabak co-news aditor

and watching some shows, I was quite hungry.    The Renaissance Fair is known for its giant, roasted whole turkey legs. Although I did not get one, I heard they are delicious.     After searching through dozens of Renaissancethemed food booths with offerings such as soup in a bread bowl, baked goods, scotch eggs and apple dumplings, all around $5, I decided I wanted some “modern” food. I passed many booths selling crispy chicken sandwiches, sugary elephant ears (which they called dragon wings), hamburgers, breadsticks with marinara sauce, large pickles, deep fried onion rings and even things like vegetable tempura and Chinese food. I finally settled on french fries. They were nothing special, just the average crispy fried potato strips, lightly salted.     I was still hungry after this, so I decided on getting the breadsticks. They were made out of the same thin and crispy dough as the elephant ears, which was quite strange. Instead of sugar, Parmesan cheese was sprinkled on top and I was given a little cup of marinara sauce. The breadsticks were mediocre, like the french fries, and also very greasy.     I thought I had done almost everything there

was to do at the fair. I was wrong. There were man powered rides I had not checked out yet. Swings, zip lines and harnessed trampoline jumping rides are scattered throughout the fair. Each ride costs about $2. I did not go on any of the rides because they did not look like much fun because they were very slow and only lasted about three minutes each.     There were also free children’s activities including games, castle playscapes and projects. I did not bring my dog, but I learned that pets are welcome at the festival.    Renaissance Festival doors open at 10 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. The festival goes through the weekend of October 4. With so much to do, one should plan on staying the whole day.    Michigan’s Renaissance Festival is held off of Dixie Highway in Holly.     Each adult ticket costs $18.95 and children’s tickets cost $9.95.  Tickets are sold on the website,, for a couple dollars cheaper.     The best part of my day had to be on my way out when I was a bid “Fare thee well!” by a gnome.

Valentine family takes in foster children

Three foster children find better home within Andover community Ketan Murthy staff writer

Ten people, six bedrooms, one roof. For junior twins Jeremiah and Amariah, this is their reality. “We decided to do it [foster children] because we wanted to give the kids something they couldn’t get in their other homes. We thought we were financially stable enough to take on somebody else’s kid and give them something that nobody gave us,” says Rickey Valentine, Jeremiah and Amariah’s father. Rickey explains that Michigan’s foster care system is made up of families like his, who volunter their homes to kids who have faced abuse or neglect in their previous situations. “Basically, we’re holding them till their parents get themselves together,” says Jeremiah. “But if they’re like the ones we have now [whose parents haven’t] they are up for adoption.” For the past three months the Valentines have

been fostering a family of five whose ages range from by the Valentines, Rickey says Larry will have to two-year-old Larry to nine year old worry about anymore. Jashaun, with Edrick, Tyree, and “We’re mainly adopting them because their parents Javeon in the middle, ages three to are unfit to care for the children. They’re six. not financially stable, and most of the dads We decided to do it During this time Amariah, who is [foster children] be- are incarcerated or drug addicts.” the only female in the house besides After the adoption of Larry and his cause we wanted to her mom, has seen remarkable brothers, the Valentines will no longer be give the kids somechanges in the kids. a foster family. Because it wasn’t always “When they first came they were easy to say goodbye to the kids who passed thing they couldn’t kind of sad, they didn’t like to hug through her house over fourteen years, get in their other people, and now they’re just hugging Amariah looks forward to the change. homes. We thought everyone.” “It’s hard, because we had twins one Of the five, Larry, the youngest we were financially time. They were really young, and there brother, has shown the biggest stable enough to take was one girl and one boy and we liked change. them so much, and it turned out that they on somebody else’s “[Larry] was really standoffish. Now couldn’t stay. They gave them to us for a kid. he likes being around us. Every now weekend, and on Monday we lost them.” and then he’ll ask where someone is, Rickey Valentine In spite of this, Amariah’s father believes even though he knows where they are, Andover parent the process has taught his children to be just as a way of checking that they’re more caring and selfless. still there. When you see a two-year“It’s not an easy road, and it can be old doing that, you can tell he’s used to people daunting at times,” her father says. “[If families going in and out of his life, and it’s really sad,” says like ours are] willing to give, accept the faults they Jeremiah. [the foster kids] have no control over, it’s rewarding, Because he and his four brothers are being adopted especially with the little ones.”

photo by Madi McIlhon

Doth thou needth an engagement? Come hither to ye old Festival of Renaissance.   Travel back in time to when gypsies, fire jugglers, knights, pirates, roasted giant turkey legs and Shakesperean English dialect are commonplace Michigan’s Renaissance Festival. The Renaissance Festival has been taking visitors back in time since 1979.       I first walked into the fair skeptical. I thought parading around in Renaissance-style clothing sounded silly. After entering I realized that it was, but in a good way. All of the assorted Renaissance-goers were festive and cheerful. They instantly brought a smile to my face.    As I walked through the front gates, I was immediately swarmed by peasants, kings and queens, pirates, gypsies and fairies. I could hear the distant sound of bag pipes and merchants shouting all of their products hoping to catch a buyer’s interest. I could smell the scent of greasy food and beer wafting through the air.  I even saw a small wooden castle down the path.      Different shops and booths lined the long dirt paths of the fair. The stores sold all different Renaissance-themed MichRenFest items including art, jewelry, leather, glass, metal, oils, toys and wood. Each shop sold - In Holly about a 40 unique pieces that I had never minute drive from seen anywhere else. I was Bloomfield Hills blown away by the goods such as leather boots, necklaces - Ticket Prices: made of Celtic knots, rare incense and glass sculptures. Adult: $18.95, There were about 170 booths Child: $9.95 and all selling something different.  S t u d e n t / S e n i o r :    I ended up buying a a couple $16.95 of different things. I first bought a silver chain earring - Runs August 22 for $23 and a gold snake arm band for $34. My favorite thing through October 4 that I bought was a $3 necklace with a Brazilian coin on it  from - Yearly attendance a store called The Coin Mint. They had different antique and over 200,000 new coins from all around the world.    Shopping is not the only thing to do at the fair. I also occupied myself with henna tattoos, face painting and hair braiding, all costing between $15$25. I also had my fortune read for $15. The fair offers caricatures as well, though I did not have enough time to get one.   I also saw many shows that are replayed throughout the day. These shows include Renaissance music, dancing, and acting. One of the shows I saw included bagpipes. Although bagpipes are not what I would call my cup of tea, I enjoyed it because it matched the festive mood that everyone was in.       After shopping, getting tattoos, having my fortune read

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Andover Shield September 2009  
Andover Shield September 2009  

The online publication for The Andover Shield newspaper from September 2009.