By Nicole Hamilton
The Cincinnati Enquirer
From the costumes and pageantry at the Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival presented by Christ Church Cathedral downtown this weekend, it's hard to believe 2004 is just a few days old.
Beefeaters in original English costumes mingled with pages, yule sprites and holly bearers at the 64th annual event - perhaps the oldest continuing festival of the Christmas season, first presented in England, at Queen's College, Oxford, in 1340.
Steven Haney, 5, a yule sprite, sits on the yule log before the Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival dress rehearsal.
(Meggan Booker photo)
Each year, members of Christ Church Cathedral don costumes and stage the free festival to a capacity audience at the church. Other church members make up the choir and orchestra.
For new church member Suzanne Beckner, participating in the festival brought her "incredible warmth and friendship. It's amazing how welcome I've felt," said the downtown resident, waiting to make her debut as a wait person. Her boyfriend, Don Lenz, was in the Plum Pudding Company.
The youngest members to take part in the festival, as little yule sprites, are around 5 years old. Maurice Mandell celebrated his 34th year as the Chief Minstrel.
If you go
What: 64th Annual Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival.
When: 2:30 and 5 p.m. today
Where: Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. Fourth St., downtown
Tickets: Free tickets were distributed earlier this month. If you don't have a ticket, arrive early and see an usher.
GOOD THINGS HAPPENING
Local Red Cross gets some relief
TOP LOCAL HEADLINES
Memories get razed as 'McMansions' rise
Scientist to help build the case against Saddam
Many eager to testify to Saddam's evil
Freeze to follow balmy weekend
At 30, library in its prime
E-check set for speedier testing
Twitty counsels: 'Wait and see'
Groom needs good excuse to miss today's bridal show
1 dead, dozen hurt in collision
Police handing out locks for guns
Ex-con questioned in I-270 shootings
Minstrels mingle with sprites at cathedral
Rumpke workers fear for safety
First homicide victim of 2004 identified
TO OUR READERS: What do you think of our changes?
Head Start expansion proposal criticized
Mayor ends 20-year tenure
Family of five adds four more for holidays
Parks director says Miami bike path traces history
Fairfield-based troops bid families adieu
James Nolan, 75, dedicated life to peace
David Nordyke, 51, leader of charter school