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Sometimes, the only constant at Pennsic War is change.
As people arrive at this year’s war, they will see a variety of changes in everything from where Herald’s Point is to where the archery range is, to where to go to eat and shop.
The fact that you are reading the first issue of the Pennsic Independent on the Friday of Land Grab Week instead of the middle Saturday is just one indication of the changes this year.
The Heralds have moved from the A&S area to a location next to the playground near Information Point. The Heralds are also computer-printing submissions this year and have made other changes to streamline the process.
The archery range is now out beyond the B-Blocks and is on a bus route. Transportation has promised that starting Saturday, bus service will be increased to the archery range so there will always be 30 minutes or less between buses.
The Woods Battle on Tuesday will take place on a different stretch of terrain located “behind” Mount Eislinn. [For other changes to martial activities, see the reports by our battlefield and martial reporters elsewhere in today’s edition of the paper.]
A&S Point is in the A&S area, where there are colorful new banners to mark the classroom tents, and the Games Tent is in the Service Area.
Security has been merged with other departments, is doing Disability Transportation, and is called The Watch.
“As far as I can see, all the changes are working smoothly,” said Master John von der Velde, the Mayor of Pennsic. “So far, everything I have heard has been good.”
After an interim change, new adjustments have been made for minors attending A&S classes, but the move is minor. The Pennsic Ambassadors, who are adult volunteers, will be monitoring the A&S area to make sure SCA rules involving supervision of minors are maintained.
The Fruity Cobbler did not return this year because of concerns with the health of one of the owners. It has been replaced by Medieval Munchies, which has similar food and is run by the same family that runs Beast & Boar. The former Cock & Bull is now Cornucopia Utopia.
Wolgemut, whose music has become a familiar sound for shoppers near the bottom of Gold and Market Streets, is not at Pennsic this year.
The Marketplace opened on Monday of Land Grab Week this year, and will be closing at 11:00 pm on Friday of War Week. Those who are used to doing their last minute shopping on Saturday should remember to shop on Friday instead (and watch for the Last Minute Shopping Guide in the Pennsic Independent).
Cindy Cooper, the Pennsic Merchant Liaison, stated that the Marketplace change is a reflection of the general Pennsic schedule. “Official Pennsic activities are over on Friday,” Cindy said. “It just makes sense to close the Marketplace at the same time.”
Food merchants have the option to remain open on Saturday, but some may not take that option. Those who are planning to be open include Nobleman’s, DeRose’s Bread Boule & Coffees, Beast & Boar, Medieval Munchies, Cooper’s annex (ice cream, beverages, and market), and Odyssey Coffee. [A complete list of food vendors open and their hours on Saturday will be in the August 13 issue of the newspaper.]