The 64th annual Robin Hood Festival promises plenty of merriment for people of all ages, filling Sherwood's streets July 14 and 15 and continuing a decades-old archery competition with Nottingham, England, on both July 15 and 16.
The popular annual parade is set for Saturday, July 15 beginning at 10 a.m. with 80- to 100-plus entries. This year's parade celebrates as its theme the early beginnings of what has become a cherished community tradition, "Robin Hood lives in Sherwood, Oregon." Old Town festival hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.
Uniquely medieval and modern, two stages Friday night and all day Saturday will provide continuous music, family entertainment, stunts and swashbuckling. The Main Stage features popular musical groups such as Hit Machine and The Melody Butchers, and fun improvisational medieval interludes with the Seattle Knights.
The talented voices of the Sherwood Renaissance Singers usher in the traditional knighting ceremony Friday night in Veterans Park, with music beginning 5:45 p.m.
The Maid Marian Court and Robin Hood and his Merry Men will honor those who have been of service to the community.
The Reptile Man, the Portland Rose Festival's "Clown Prince" Angel Ocasio, the Seattle Knights, BJ the Clown and an amazing Mad Science "alchemy"program highlight the Family Stage, along with multiple local dance, gymnastics and karate groups — plus a Teen Dance Friday night at 8:30 p.m. Sherwood's Voices for the Performing Arts will perform Alice in Wonderland Jr. at 7:30 p.m. both Friday and Saturday nights in Cannery Square.
An extensive vendor village consisting of more than 100 booths will offer a wide variety of shopping and activities to explore, plus plenty of delicious food, and a beer, wine and cider garden featuring local selections.
There will be plenty of medieval-themed activities on the grounds, with The Village Apprentice School running crafts, mini classes and demonstrations. The Knights of Veritas will appear Saturday 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in front of the Sherwood Center for the Arts (sponsored by the arts center and the Sherwood Public Library). Enjoy a mini medieval parade on Saturday at 2 p.m. near Veterans Park, plus a petting zoo, climbing wall, dunking booth and more. The kids will love lingering for Stories with Maid Marian at the new Court pavilion, and creativity is the rule for the annual castle building contest, with more contests to be announced soon at www.robinhoodfestival.org.
Archers of all ages and skill levels will take part in multiple competitions at the annual archery tournament at Edy Ridge Elementary, with Maid Marian shooting the first arrow 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 15. The Maid Marian Court will preside over the archery awards ceremony 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 16.
Susan Danz is president of the Robin Hood Festival Association.