ArmStreet at Pennsic 45
Like the SCA community, The ArmStreet team comes from all over the world. Pennsic is a wonderful meeting ground for us to spend time together, meet customers, watch our armor in action and receive valuable feedback from those using our products the most. This Pennsic our team came from Milwaukee, Kharkiv and Melbourne — it’s amazing how people from different ends of the world can all be so similar, like a family.
Pennsic is an annual war held by the Society of Creative Anachronism. It has been taking place for nearly 45 years near Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania — about an hour and a half out of Pittsburgh. It’s a war between the Eastern and Middle Kingdoms, with over 10,000 attendees, spanning a 500 acre camp ground complete with an extensive merchant marketplace, a battlefield and residential camps as far as the eye can see.
Expansive heavy combat battles start in the second week, as well as archery, rapier, and various other western martial arts. There are master classes for experts looking to practice and refine skills, and beginner groups for those looking to pick up a new weapon. We were excited to meet many fighters and help them in finding their new favorite set of gauntlets, a shiny new helmet or one of our ornate leg harnesses.
Pennsic isn’t just an event for the fighters, it includes both martial and non-martial activities. I’m positive that Pennsic has a class for everyone: from lectures regarding specific time periods to roundtable discussions about subjects both broad and specific, hands on classes teaching everything from introductory tablet weaving to expert tin smithing. Pennsic University offers more classes during 17 days than I was offered during my whole degree!
Evenings are punctuated with more parties than I could count, along with crackling campfires and the ever-present beat of drums. To say that music was in the air at Pennsic would be an understatement — each night seemed to bring a new guest with a different instrument, sharing songs both medieval and modern.
Each morning we would awake to the mist rising on the lake and the comforting smell of Igor’s strong Turkish coffee. It's a quiet kilometer walk from our camp down by the lake up to the merchant area, the winding road up the hill is surrounded by the tents, pavilions and ornately carved gates of each camp. Dotted along the way are richly painted banners telling the unique story of each group, the walls of the camps painted and embroidered with years of history.
Something that Pennsic did for me was highlight the vibrancy of the SCA community. It breaks down the borders of distance — there are attendees from Canada, Europe, Australia and beyond. It also transcends generations: there are second, even third generation SCAdians in attendance, and you see the young mingling with and learning from the older and more experienced members.
Despite the weather, we loved our time at Pennsic, and can’t wait to see everyone again next year!