A great deal of thought and trouble went into the planning of these events so that they might create a feeling of fellowship or adventure and at the very best, give one a feeling of what it might have been to lived in Middle-Earth among the hobbits and other folk not seen often these days.
It should also be noted that all outdoor events will have alternate plans in the event of foul weather.
"And so it was that a great host gathered after the curtain of night had fallen, and in their midst was built a great fire, and they gathered around it for light and warmth. There many tales of great deeds were told, as well as ballads of ages long past, and the folk huddled together, and turned their backs to the night"
After dinner Thursday night, join us in the fields behind the village for a bonfire, which we are calling The Bondfire, for the fellowship certain to occur.
Just as the fellowship did many a night on their epic quest, we shall gather around the fire for warmth when the curtain of night falls, the stars pop out and the nightly chorus of the denizens of the nocturnal world begins.
Hear tales both amusing and foreboding; listen to the long, sad ballads of ages past sang by minstrels while listeners look on, their faces illuminated by the primordial glow of the embers.
You may want to bring a blanket along to spread on the ground, and perhaps a good cloak to wrap up in, should you need to fend off the night chill.
Please remember that when a story-teller or otherwise is entertaining, try to keep any noise down to a minimum, and like the movies - silence your cell phones so others can enjoy the event.
“Only the most adventurous hobbits took the long and twisting paths that lead down to the Brandywine River, for decent hobbits had little to do with river and boats…”
“There lay many ruins of ancient structures along the banks of the river whose original design or purpose only the eldest hobbit could guess…”
“Looking up, one could see the High Bridge. Little used, it was the highest bridge in all the lands as far as the hobbits knew and it spanned the entire river valley. It was told that the bridge was built by the ancient settlers of the land whose few remaining descendants now lived far away to the south, and had little to do with hobbits.”
Take a scenic cruise along the Brandywine (Kentucky) River in a genuine paddle wheeler. Even though Hobbits don’t usually take to water or boats, I’m certain they would have liked the Dixie Belle. Its knowledgeable captain is learned in the lore of the area. Offering one-hour narrated cruises, he guides the ship confidently along the banks and towering limestone cliffs along the river.
Once the main trading route for much of the area, the river is lined with grand old mansions which harkens back to a day when they faced a more populated trading route, and the landing from which you set sail is the actual port the Shakers used in their extensive trading with the outside world. The remnants of old Shaker buildings can still be seen down by the river that were once used in their shipping trade.
You can read more here.
Hobbits claim not to have anything to do with rivers or boating, but they evidently did at some point in the past as they used to live by the riverbanks. Even Gollum, who used to be like a Hobbit, paddled about in a small boat in his subterranean lake. Also, an ancient strain of the Stoors was called ‘water Hobbits’; but please don't bring the matter of boating up to Frodo.
“In those days, it was not uncommon to see a group of hobbits off for a hike across the meadows and forests of the Shire. Most often, they would take well-known paths that led to familiar destinations, to avoid any unpleasant surprises, but at times the younger hobbits would band together and blaze a new trail almost to the borders of the Shire, and sometimes beyond, though the latter was very rare.”
“Sometimes, if one walked far enough and looked hard enough, you could still find traces of the ancient folk of the Shire who had long vanished, and even treasure still to be had, but the notion of treasure hunting was scoffed at by most hobbits as foolishness and a general waste of time that could have been better used weeding the garden.”
Grab a good walking stick and join Bilbo or Frodo as they take you on a scenic hike through the Shire looking for treasure. Rumor has it there have been strange folk about, and there could be hidden treasures out there to find for those hobbits clever enough to find it.
Join your hosts as they lead two groups off into the Shire in search of treasure while you explore the many glens and dales of the land.. Keep a sharp eye out for any treasure, as the group to find the most gets recognized at Bilbo’s Party!
Along the way, take in the rich variety of the many beautiful wild flowers and plant life the Shire has to offer. If you are quiet Hobbits, you may catch a glimpse of a fox, deer, woodpeckers, and other wildlife that inhabit the Shire, but beware of Trolls!
Read more about hikes in the Shire here.
‘We saw lights in the forest and followed at a safe distance. At times we could just make out beautiful singing and chanting, and we guessed we were following the elves, but we could not be certain. Those who bore the lights went into an ancient building, long thought to be deserted. We crept as close as we dared and looked on in awe. A great host of elves, hobbits, wizards, men and other denizens of the land had gathered for a great feast. The sound of a harp drifted from within, mixed with much talk and laughter. What the reason was for this gathering was we could not guess…’
Join us Friday night when a host of Elves and other folk will gather for The Hall of Fire in the event barn. Dine on the finest Elven cuisine while you listen to an Elven harpist playing, and Elven singers lifting their voices in song. There will also be readings, poetry and actors to entertain you while Lord Elrond and his host look on.
Behold or be part of the costume pageant where Middle-Earth denizens showcase their finest while a host tells of the origins and construction of your outfit. Over the years we have seen so many great outfits, so we decided to dedicate a portion of this night to celebrate the many wonderful outfits out there. This will be non-competitve so everyone can have a chance to ‘strut their stuff’ and be formally recognized for all your money, time and care spent on your outfit. So get out your best and get ready to hit the runway! Hosted by our very own holder of the magic needle ~ Judy Mitchell!
For more on the Costume Pageant and how to enter it, read here.
"'I don't know half of you as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you as well as you deserve.'
On the day of the 27th, the tents will go up, the flags will unfurl and the fun will begin! Thus will begin a recreation of Bilbo's party and your opportunity to wear your best Middle-Earth attire.
Bilbo & Frodo Baggins, along with some very special friends, will celebrate their birthday with food, games, song, dance and possibly a few surprises, but Bilbo is keeping the events a secret. Hobbits and other folk will start being shuttled down to the party site sometime in the afternoon, and will also be shuttled back to the village after the party, which may go well into the night. While there, be sure to drop by Bag End, but please don’t hang on the bell. Bilbo himself will welcome you at the white gate in typical hobbit fashion, so be certain you bring your invitation along with you.
Please note: To keep the theme and nature of the party consistent, it is requested that all guests be in costume, and only those in costume will be admitted. If you do not have a costume, a general hobbit costume is easy and fun to get together, and articles for one can be obtained from a thrift store for under $20.00. Also, here is a guide on easy-to-make Middle-Earth costumes:
Some suggestions for an outfit that would look fitting for the party could be: A hobbit lad or lass, a man or woman of Bree, a Ranger, an Elf, a Dwarf, a wizard or even an Ent from the Old Forest. Other folk you might come as could be from distant lands as far away as Gondor or Rohan. Lurking in the darkness might be an Orc, Goblin, Troll or a Black Rider! For a more in-depth look into folk we need, click the banner below:
For the party, we ask that you silence your cell phones and find a private spot when talking on one. Cameras of any kind are welcome. Beer will be offered at the party, so drink responsibly! All other Alcohol will be BYOB. Mind all children all the time.
After breakfast Sunday, we will be offering Middle Earth Cinema in West Family Wash House, which of course will feature a Lord of the Rings marathon, but with a few surprises. This will be an excellent time to wind down, relive the quest of the fellowship and recap past events with your friends before making your final farewells.
Movie Time: 10 am
Place: West Family Wash House