31 July 2007

On target

Freccia d’Oro

The events of La Quintana continued this past Sunday with the Gara degli Arcieri or Archery Competition between the sestiere of Ascoli Piceno. Piazza Arringo was turned into a mini-stadium with grandstands and in the center the arcieri competed. As with all of the events of La Quintana there was an opening and closing procession of musicians, knights, banners and the participants.

The participants were both men and women, young and old. Each sestiere had three to four members in period costume that competed in five events. They began with a fixed target on shields, then straw rolls suspended vertically, then smaller targets in a row followed by a target fixed to a swinging pendulum. The final event involved head to head competition between a single arciero from two sestiere whose targets were two counterbalanced water balloons, the first to hit their balloon won.

There were awards for the top three sestiere, Porta Solesta won this category, and for the best individual arciero that was won by Piazzarola. The awards were an individual freccia, or arrow.

This coming weekend La Quintana’s finale involves the events surrounding the Giostra della Quintana di Sant’ Emidio. Again the city will be filled with the sound of trumpets and drums and the sights of lords and ladies, knights and cavaliere, banners and colorful costumes as the piazze and streets will resemble a time long past.

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