The Barony of Delftwood is the Syracuse, NY chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism, or SCA, an international organization that promotes research and re-creation of the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. The SCA divides our present world into "kingdoms" and smaller landholdings, of which the Barony of Delftwood is one. It provides instruction on many forms of medieval culture, from embroidery and manuscript illumination to cooking and combat. If you're a history buff, you should definitely try this.
Non-members are allowed to attend all BoD meetings, though there is a fee for tournaments and special events. Last week, the BoD held an event at the Liverpool Public Library to share some of their knowledge with the public. My family and I had the chance to hear a psaltery, a hurdy-gurdy, and a hammered dulcimer - and even to play the instruments! It was a hands-on workshop in which I even learned how to churn butter. You laugh, but it tastes way better than that stuff you get in the store, believe me. *grin*
We were also treated to a small combat tournament, including fencing and heavy weapons. Historical writers, you'd love this. Not only did I enjoy watching the combat, I learned a little bit. Did you know you can fence using a cloak as a weapon? Back in the days of the Romans, gladiators used nets to distract and trap an enemy's weapon. That cloak? Same principle, hundreds of years later.