There are many activities you can view and participate in at an event. While at an event, it is encouraged to hide modern items as much as possible. Turn off or take cell phone conversations away from the main crowd, if possible. While every event has some variation of things to be done, these are some of the more common and expected activities.
Registration and Gate
Paid members receive a discount on event fees. Many events allow pre-registration. This is especially useful when registering for the feast for the event. If you are not a paid member you will need to sign a waiver before being allowed to participate. You will usually receive a “Site Token”, which is a small bauble or trinket, when you register.
Pavilions and Heraldry
Individuals will put up large canvas pavilions throughout the site. You may often find them located around the list fields. Some of these pavilions may be open for you to sit in. Always ask before entering. It is the same as entering someone’s home. Many individuals will post banners of their kingdom, group, and individual heraldry. It is common to see pennants and banners flapping in the breeze suspended from the pavilions. If you have your own heraldry you can display it.
Unless you are already authorized for combat you will usually be unable to participate. The combat area is usually roped off for safety. During combat, you may hear “HOLD!”. This is a safety word when there is an issue on the field such as a broken piece of equipment. Everyone freezes in what they are doing and addresses the issue.
Commonly, when at an event, you will address individuals by their title and name. If you are unsure of the correct form of address, a simple “good gentle” or milord/milady will suffice. It is common to offer a small curtsy or bow to those with coronets and crowns as well as to the thrones while passing them. Traditionally you stop and allow Kings and Queens to pass.
Court is a time of high pageantry. Typically, court will be a time to thank those who have put together the event. The Crown will give out awards and prizes for any competitions held during the event. Individuals will be called up for awards and recognition for their hard work. The herald will read any pertinent information. A cheer will be given. The exact wording of the cheer used in your kingdom may differ. (For the Barony of Calafia, the Herald will announce Hiphip and the crowd will respond Huzzah. It is commonly repeated three times)
If you are called up, approach the thrones from the center of the room. You may have someone who offers to escort you. If this would cause an issue, or is unwanted, politely decline the offer. It is becoming more common practice that newcomers will be called up and given a small token thanking them for attending their first event.
During court keep side conversations to a minimum. If you do need to carry on a conversation kindly move to the back of the hall to avoid disrupting those around you who may have difficulty hearing.
Classes are often offered at events. These will cover many different topics. Some classes are limited seating; others may have a class fee to cover materials and handouts. Many of the classes are hands-on. Many events will have a schedule of classes taking place.
Vigils and Circles
When someone is to be elevated to one of the peerage orders they will sometimes host a vigil. This is a time for
friends to come together and give wishes to the candidate. Refreshments may be offered at these activities. Private meetings and circles occur at some events. These meetings are usually isolated from the main event. Do not approach meetings in progress. If you need to speak to someone urgently, a message can be given to them.
The information presented here comes from SCA 101: How to Plan, Play, and Avoid Dismay by THL Anóra Tryggvadóttir and from pages 13 and 14 of the article “A Newcomers Guide to the SCA“.