Marywood Madness takes a medieval turn

Amanda Duncklee, Community Editor

Hear ye, here ye! ‘Twas the night for Medieval Madness, a night of Renaissance fun for all.

Usually called Marywood Madness, this year’s annual pep-rally was dubbed Medieval Madness. Renaissance-themed décor and activities were the focus of the event and three live horses dressed in Middle Age style cloaks made guest appearances.

Some of the features included medieval food such as hot apple cider, beef stew, biscuits, pickles on a stick, drumsticks, chicken kabobs and candied almonds, all provided by Chartwells. Equestrians rode and jousted each other while excited students cheered.

Unlike previous years, this year’s event was held outside instead of the gymnasium. Planning was underway for roughly a month before the actual event.

“This has to do with the horses: we had to do it outside,” said Student Activities Intern Maria Temples, a senior nutrition and wellness major. “I’m really excited since it’s different than what Marywood Madness has been in the past,” said Temples.

For Ruth Walsh, administrator of Student Activities, this is the first time she is participating in the annual rally.

“This took an awful lot of planning to come together,” said Walsh. “It was certainly a group effort between administration and students. It’s a wonderful atmosphere for students; everybody seems to be working together and smiling.”

The event began with the emcee introducing the cheerleading team who kick started the event. They performed cheers as well as a stunt routine for a cheering crowd.

“For safety purposes, I would have preferred to be inside,” said sophomore early childhood special education major McKenzie Gedman, a base on the cheer team. “Our shoes are wet from the grass, and even though we have a mat, the ground is still bumpy. Still, performing for everyone is exciting.”

Following the Cheer Team, the Step and Dance Teams performed their respective routines for students.

Once Marywood’s teams finished their routines, members of the Dance Team, Cheer Team and Step Team stood across each other to make a pathway for the Homecoming Court nominees. Maxis the Mustang ran through after the nominees made their way.

Instead of tee-shirts, SAC members threw blankets at students with the words “Medieval Madness 2015” and a horse stitched on the blankets.

Perhaps the most anticipated event of the evening was the jousting. Noelle Burk, the head squire [stage manager] for Nobel Cause Production, a performing group who specializes in medieval events throughout the country, helped facilitate the jousting.

“It’s a unique situation that we get to joust here,” said Burk. “We’re very excited to be a part of Marywood’s event.”

During the event, Burk held rings for the professional jousters to put the jousting sticks through while riding on horses. Burk threw the rings in the air for the jousters to catch. At one point, the horsemen ran at each other, jousting sticks and shields in hand, and attempted to knock the other off.

Sophomore nutrition and dietetics major Dana Boeher thought that the jousting was “very cool.”

“I’m a part of SAC, and this event exceeded my expectations,” said Boeher.

At the end of the event, students voted for their choice for the Homecoming Court. Nominee William Weiss, a junior clinical lab science major, is running for Homecoming Prince.

“This is my last year at Marywood,” said Weiss. “It’s a pretty big moment, and I will thank everybody if I win.”

Ali Sidiki contributed to this report.

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Twitter: @ADuncklee_TWW