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The Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands has one particularly unusual tradition for its Baronial Twelfth Night celebration.

din004 tavern dinersThe event is free.

For many years, the Debatable Lands has opened its coffers to sponsor the event, demanding no payment from revelers other than contributions to the pot-luck sideboard (which is usually overflowing with goodies from meat to sweets to drinks). While donations to help cover the cost of the site are appreciated, the free event makes an excellent introduction to the Society for newcomers. Also, because it’s free, there is no Non-Member Surcharge to deter new people.

Another thing that makes Debatable Lands’ Twelfth Night a great starting place for new folks is that, in the tradition of medieval Twelfth Nights, it’s filled with silliness and merriment. It features a cookie contest judged by the Baron and Baroness as well as any royalty in attendance, a pillow fight tournament,  board games, merchants, a silent auction of items never claimed from previous events’ lost and found, a heraldic quest, a performance by the Debatable Choir, and an extremely silly gift exchange wherein participants can pick an unopened gift from those contributed by other participants or elect to steal a gift already opened by another gentle. Bottles of alcohol, fabric, and books are often among the most prized gifts, but sometimes joke items like stuffed reindeer antlers are also hotly contested. A Baronial Court and dancing to live music by the Debatable Consort cap off the festivities. This year, Their Majesties Titus and Anna Leigh will also be holding Royal Court.

For the past five years the event has been autocratted by THL Elss of Augsburg and held in a lodge at a park in the northern suburbs of the Debatable Lands. The lodge is a wood structure located in a secluded forest, with massive stone fireplaces that lend it a medieval atmosphere. The site is dressed up for the event in holiday greenery and red ribbons.

peop046-female musicians

This year, Debatable Lands Twelfth Night will be held on January 17th. It will include something new: a Taster’s Tavern organized by the head of the Kingdom Brewer’s Guild, THLord Madoc Arundel, where attendees over age 21 who provide ID can sample drinks donated by the brewers in attendance and learn more about brewing period potables. Their Excellencies, Liam and Constance, will also be choosing their Baronial Brewing Champion at the event, as well as their Arts & Sciences and Bardic Champions.

For more information, see the official event announcement at http://debatablelands.org/events.php

– Submitted by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope