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Returns to Schnepp Farms
by Gael Stirler
Estrella War is the second largest annual event held by the Society for Creative Anachronism, an international club of medieval and Renaissance enthusiasts who explore history through reenactment, medieval tournaments and other kinds of social activity. The entire organization is run by volunteers for the benefit of the members and extends the love of history throughout the year. Participants travel from all over the globe to attend Estrella War, with the greatest numbers coming from the western United States. Large SCA camping events are called "wars" because the main competition is a series of large scale battles where thousands of amored fighters clash with each other using heavy rattan swords, pole arms, an even siege weapons. Its not too soon to start planning to attend now, but if you are going there is something you should know.
Estrella War XXVIII will be held at a later date next year and at a new site in Queen Creek, Arizona. The event, which had suffered from dust storms and heavy rain 3 out of the last 5 years, will no longer be held over President's Day weekend but is moving to a date 6 weeks later. In 2012 it will be held March 27 through April 2, 2012 but this date will change in 2013 to allow for Easter. Central Arizona historically enjoys exceptionally fine weather at that time of the year. The new location, Schnepf Farm, is familiar to some who have been coming to Estrella War for a long time. However a lot has changed at Schnepf Farms since 2002.
"The area (of the farm) used for Estrella 10 years ago was sold and is no longer part of the site. But we are really happy that new parts of the Farm have been developed for event rental," says Lady Rowan, one of the Main Event Coordinators. "We are able to have all the activities we usually host, like merchants, archery, and equestrian, and we can add some things we really wanted, like a camping area lined by trees for wind breaks, a camping area without berms the option to do personal showers in the camping area because there are no grey water restrictions, and more."
The new site in Queen Creek is closer to Phoenix than the site that Estrella used in Florence Arizona, and has a better layout, according to the organizers. The camping at the Florence site was divided into two major sections flanking the battlefields. At the new location all the camping will be contiguous which will make it simpler to visit your friends from other Kingdoms. The merchant area and Grand Court will be located next to the camping and the fighting fields will be on the other side of the campgrounds. There will be both open field and woods battlegrounds.
Schnepp Farms is the largest organic Peach Orchard in Arizona, they also operate an onsite 7-acre, pesticide-free garden, Country Store and Bakery onsite. The bakery is open Thursday through Sunday 8 am to 4 pm. The U-Pick garden is open with winter vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, four different lettuces and more. Cost is $1.50 per pound for whatever you pick. They also have hay rides and train rides for children, a petting zoo, and a wedding venue. For more information go tohttp://www.schnepffarms.com.
EVENT INFORMATION: Schnepf Farms is close to lots of modern world amenities (hotels, major stores, a local airport less than 15 minutes from site, etc.), and offers a number of onsite facilities as well. For more information, including a SITE MAP, see www.estrellawar.org, or contact the Main Event Coordinators: Mistress Katrina von Rosenberg, OP and Lady Rowan Bridget Blackmoor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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