Just a few days ago I published a new page: the “Medieval Reenactment and Living History Events Calendar” which, despite being both wordy and a terrible acronym (say MRaLHEC ten times fast without choking) is something the community sorely needs (even if it doesn’t realize it needs it.) The new page, shared across a few pages in Facebook, lead to some insightful conversations, one of which inspired the almost immediate update and refurbishment of the project. It became apparent a single calendar is restrictive, as there are four distinct types of events which need to be represented, and not everyone is looking for all four types. I needed to be able to accommodate both private and public events, and those which are open or closed to registrants.
Events which are Public (Open)
These are events which are designed to be attended by the public and the presence of the reenactor is to teach and inform. They are also open to registration by outside individuals and groups. The entrance requirements, authenticity standards, conduct, and presentation style of each event may differ, but they all share these the two primary features above; they’re open to the public and you can sign up to participate. Timeline events, such as Days of Knights in Ohio or Military Through the Ages on the East Coast are prime examples of this type of event. This would also include large scale battle reenactments with strict scenarios, as they are also attended by the public whether or not the encampments of the reenactors are open to the public.
Events which are Public (Closed)
These are events which are public events, but they do not have an open registration for multiple reenactors or outside groups to come and participate. The prime example of this is when a group is scheduled to present a demo at their local ren faire. And while you may be able to, if you have a rapport with the group doing the demo, be able to participate with them there is no expectation the general reenactment community can apply to participate or register to be at the event. Including these types of events in a calendar is important to me, as it allows the community at large to see what type of activities their contemporary groups are up to and means the traveling reenactor can find, view, and meet other reenactment groups when they’re attending mutual events (and may have never known they were there if they weren’t lucky enough to stumble across the right stage at the right time.) However, there are many who may not be interested in these events, which is why it is valuable to be able to toggle this calendar off and cut down on clutter when viewing the calendar.
Events which are Private (Open)
Private events are not open to the public, but open private events are open to other individual reenactors or living history groups. The cost of entry, time period, authenticity standards, accommodations, activities, etc. vary from group to group and event to event. A prime example of this style event is the Swordsman Guild of Kansas City’s annual Deed of Arms event.
Events which are Private (Closed)
Closed private events are internal company musters, group business meetings, and training sessions. While they may be open to outsiders in a general sense, especially when it comes to interested prospective members, they’re not designed for registration and attendance by people outside the group hosting the event. I mention these groups for the sake of completeness. They don’t have a calendar of their own.
I hope this has provided you a bit more context for how the calendar works, what it is intended to show, and the best way to use it. Want more people, especially other reenactors, to know about your event? Head over to the MRaLHEC (I’m working on it) and submit your event! If you like all these resources I am continually building and maintaining for you, consider supporting the projects and the hours of time it takes to keep it all going. And if I’m not inspired by yet another wild hare in the next few days, I’ll see you all again at the end of the month in the newsletter.