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The annual event, whose main events occur in the Old Town area and Edy Ridge Elementary School, is set for this weekend

COURTESY OF MADELINE GARLAND - The Maid Marian Court will be among the featured attractions for the Robin Hood Festival's annual parade set Saturday.

Sherwood Robin Hood Festival celebrates 64 years with merry history Saturday

Merriment is the rule this weekend at the 64th annual Robin Hood Festival, filling the streets of Old Town Sherwood Friday, July 14, and Saturday, July 15. The popular community parade Saturday at 10 a.m. will honor the original Robin Hood and his Merry Men of Sherwood, Oregon, a group that had a lot to do with the origins of the festival almost 70 years ago.

Continuing a tradition that began in 1956, archers will take the field at Edy Ridge Elementary Saturday and Sunday to compete with legendary rivals in Nottingham, England. Festival and tournament admission is free. Old Town Sherwood Festival hours are Friday, 5 to 11 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Archery Tournament hours are Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Edy Ridge Elementary. The decades-old pageantry of the annual knighting ceremony begins Friday at 6 p.m., as the Maid Marian Court, Robin Hood and his Merry Men and the Sherwood Renaissance Singers conduct the ceremony with music and medieval fanfare.

Winding its way through the middle of Sherwood with over 70 entries, the annual parade is Saturday at 10 a.m., with the theme Robin Hood LIVES in Sherwood, Oregon. The original Robin Hood and his Merry Men will be honored as Grand Marshal, with beginnings in the late 1940s into the 1960s. Over 100 vendors will offer a wide variety of delights Friday and Saturday.

A beer, wine and cider garden will highlight local selections, and plenty of delicious food will be on hand. Popular musicians on the main stage Friday and Saturday include Hit Machine, The Melody Butchers, Lincoln's Beard, 99W Band, Jaycob Van Auken, Pilar French, Bernie Sims and Seymour Band, with fun improvisational swashbuckling and skits with the Seattle on Saturday.

The Family Stage Friday and Saturday will feature The Reptile Man, the Rose Festival's "Clown Prince" Angel Ocasio, a Mad Science Spin Pop Boom "alchemy" show, BJ the Clown, and local dancers, gymnasts and martial arts students, highlighted by sword fighting by the Seattle Knights.

Castle building and costume contests will take place Saturday, as well as a fun array of free crafts for children, plus medieval demonstrations and the chance to create a custom coat of arms at The Village Apprentice School. A petting zoo, climbing wall and dunk tank will be on hand, plus story times with Maid Marian and other special surprises.

GAZETTE FILE PHOTO - The annual Robin Hood Festival parade attracts hundreds of residents who line Sherwood 
Boulevard and Old Town. It's set for 10 a.m. Saturday.Teens can put on their dancing shoes for a dance with a DJ Friday night at 8:30 PM. Archers of all ages and skill levels will compete Saturday and Sunday at Edy Ridge Elementary School, 21472 S.W. Copper Terrace. Maid Marian will perform a knighting ceremony and shoot the first arrow Saturday at 8:30 a.m., and the Maid Marian Court will hand out awards Sunday at 3 p.m.

Tickets are on sale for the Sherwood Voices for the Performing Arts performance of Disney's Alice in Wonderland JR Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The Sherwood Public Library is sponsoring a free event with the Knights of Veritas Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in front of the Sherwood Center for the Arts, demonstrating authentic combat techniques from the Middle Ages. The Sherwood Historical Society will offer displays and refreshments Saturday at the Heritage Center museum in Old Town.

One of the most historic festivals in Oregon, the Robin Hood Festival is run by a non-profit organization. Visit www.robinhoodfestival.org and @robinhoodfest on Twitter for more information or call 503-625-4233. Contact: Susan Danz, Sherwood Robin Hood Festival Association President.

See the July Sherwood Gazette for a full schedule.

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