For Newcomers

Welcome! We hope you’ll enjoy your time with us.

Before you start reading…

If you have any questions at all, you can contact our Chatelaine (newcomer liaison).

I want to participate. How can I do that?

Nothing easier – just come to a meeting or an event! You can also join the Appleholm and Østgarðr Facebook pages to get familiar with what’s going on locally. Appleholm meetings & events are in Manhattan; Østgarðr meetings & events can be anywhere in the province, but many can be reached by public transit.

We also hold demonstrations for the public at various times during the year, such as at the New York Medieval Festival in Tryon Park, and the Queens County Fair at Queens Farm. Those are great opportunities to talk to us and learn more.

What’s the difference between a meeting and an event?

A “meeting” is a local modern get-together for some purpose – it might be a business meeting to talk about budget and planning and new officers, or a fighting practice, or a bardic circle, or just a holiday party. It can be a good way to just get to know the local people. The key points of meetings are,
– everyone is in modern clothing,
– it takes place in a modern context (that is, we are making no pretense of being in anything but the 21st century,
– there is usually no entry fee (unless it’s, say, at a diner and you have to buy a cup of coffee to not upset the diner staff).

An “event”, on the other hand, is meant to be a re-creation of medieval activities, occurring in a medieval time & place. There might be anywhere from two dozen to five hundred people in attendance. Events also have a wide range of activities; fighting, fencing, archery, classes about medieval skills, Royal or baronial courts, dancing, feasts, music…the list is endless! But the key points of events are,
– everyone must wear an attempt at medieval clothing,
– we try to keep modern elements from intruding too much,
– there is usually an entry fee to cover the costs of putting on the event.

But I don’t have any medieval clothing!

No problem! Many events have loaner clothing (called “Gold Key”) next to the entrance for newcomers to wear. You can contact the event steward in advance to inquire. But even if the event doesn’t have any available, Østgarðr does. Just reach out to our Chatelaine for help.

What else do I need to know about going to an event?

As noted above, events can cover such a range of activities that they’re all very different from each other; but the article “Getting ready for your first event” is a great resource to help you know what to expect and how to prepare.

Since we’re here in Manhattan, and a lot of events aren’t, the group Facebook pages are also great places to hear how folks are getting to events – when public transit is an option, when it’s not, and opportunities for car-pooling.