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Eons ago, as a high school sophomore, I was cast in our school’s production of the musical Once Upon a Mattress. The play, a retelling of the fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea,” is, naturally, set in the Middle Ages, when society was broken into three groups: those who pray, those who fight, and those who work. I was Rowena, court dancer and lady-in-waiting to the princess. My clothes were awesome. Dancing in a scrumptious deep-purple satin ballgown, singing about the Norman invasion, and imagining myself as a saucy wench, I developed a passion for the culture and history of the medieval. These days I live for Renaissance festivals and events such as today’s Hastings Faire in Glenn Dale. The fair features artisans and merchants wearing medieval garb and offering crafts and refreshments from the era. You’ll also find living history re-enactments: You can see bits of the Battle of Hastings of 1066 and other famous skirmishes before your very eyes. Awesome. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Marietta House Museum, 5626 Bell Station Road, Glenn Dale. $5. (301) 464-5291. (Natalie Davis)