Medieval royalty and their birds of prey were seldom parted, and lords and ladies took them hunting, on campaigns of the war, and, for some, even to church. Falconry was a practice that spread over the centuries from Asia and Arabia and by the Middle Ages was firmly part of the culture in England, with even the lower classes being allowed to own certain hunting birds.
For some, the practice was sport and for others, a way of obtaining a meal. The lords, ladies, and peasants at the 46th Annual Renaissance ArtsFaire, November 4 and 5, will be able to rekindle their long-standing relationship with these magnificent birds when HawkQuest visits the faire for the 12th time.
HawkQuest is a Colorado-based non-profit organization that seeks to educate the public about raptors and their role in our environment, taking them to classrooms and events around the region.
They care for 37 birds of prey that can no longer live in the wild, including eagles, hawks, falcons, owls and a turkey vulture. These birds either have been injured or imprinted upon humans, so now live in safety with HawkQuest and carry on the vital role of educating the public.
Kin Quittugua, a master falconer originally from Guam, is the executive director and founder of HawkQuest. Quittugua says of their goal in attending this event, “One thing: education. We do the venue and we dress for the venue, but the bottom line is education. We tell kids these are not pets and we never use their names.”
HawkQuest is always a popular part of the faire. Visitors young and old revel in the opportunity to get a rare close view of these birds and watch in awe as a Harris hawk takes flight. There will be two presentations daily at the Children’s Realm stage, at 10:30 am and 2:00 pm. To learn more about HawkQuest, go to their website at www.hawkquest.org.
It is quite appropriate, Quittugua points out, that they will also be walking in the daily royal procession at 1:00 p.m. The royal falconer was a person of importance who traveled with the royal court and at RenFaire, the falconers will again be in their rightful place of privilege.
The 46th Annual Renaissance ArtsFaire takes place Saturday and Sunday, November 4 and 5, at Young Park, with a free Royal Carriage shuttling visitors from the southwest corner of Mesilla Valley Mall parking lot to the park.
Cost for the event is $10 per person and children 12 and under are free. Advance tickets are two for $15 and available online or at all Pic Quik locations through November 3.
Make the weekend even more special by purchasing a VIP package: $60 includes all-access passes for two people, access to the VIP area at the Dragon’s Eye Tavern with refreshments and up-front views of the main stage, plus a special area to watch jousting, preferred parking for one vehicle, and two vintage Ren Faire T-shirts. A VIP pass for one person is $35.
Tickets and more information can be found by visiting the Doña Ana Arts Council office at 1740 Calle de Mercado, Suite B-D, in Mesilla, online at www.daarts.org or by calling (575) 523-6403.
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