Monday, 8 June 2015

Medieval Fair

Guest post by GrannyJ

The fair was excellent. It took place in two large fields that were set up to represent actual medieval fairs that might have taken place in Western or Eastern Europe or the Middle East. The day was sunny, not too hot, with a nice breeze off the water. A perfect day.

There were musicians, buskers, artisans, falconers, archers, merchants, weapons of war, vikings, and jousting knights in shining armour on horseback.

I loved the jousting but it is not a sport for sissies…that is for sure. They call it full contact jousting - no scripts, no choreography and no air-bags. The horses are huge and they are travelling at about 35mph. The hits when they come are comparable to being in a car crash. One of the jousters told me that when someone gets hurt it can take months to recover. In the final competition there was a huge crash where both jousters were hit, the lances broke and flew in all directions and both knights ended up on the ground. As soon as they fall, the horses stand still. Here is the website for the Knights of Valour  for further details.

They are trying to get more people involved and start up an actual league - similar to NASCAR! In the little video clip the man with the loud voice is Mike. He got quite involved! Mike was cheering for Sir Matthew, but unfortunately he lost out to Sir William in the final round. Mike is no better at picking the winner of a jousting competition than he is at hockey! For $5.00 you were allowed to ride one of the war horses after the jousting competition.

I guess you can’t have a medieval fair without “weapons of war”. I actually enjoyed the Warrior’s Battle. The men were in full armour and they really went at one another with actual weapons - but blunt swords and axes. The funniest part was when two little girls volunteered to be the princesses and they were kidnapped by the Black Knight and taken to the castle. Then came the storming of the castle. I got a little video clip of that. It was a riot!

There was also an encampment of tents representing the various regions. The Eastern European presentation included a re-enactment by the Dark Ages Recreation Company.

Their website has this little blurb:

DARC is composed of people interested in using living history to research aspects of life in Northern Europe during the Viking Age. This is accomplished through workshops and experimental archaeology where the focus is on developing traditional skills as we create accurate replicas of period artifacts and processes. Our historic events are centered on the 'camp', where the activities revolve around 'daily life' and the interaction of carefully researched characterizations. The Company further strives to provide a resource of skilled and experienced historic interpreters and physical demonstrators to museums, schools, and educational programs.

The participants which included whole families, actually camped out in their tents over the 3 days of the fair. Their demonstrations included historic glass bead making, wood carving,

In the marketplace there were tons of things for little princesses and knights, (and big ones also and too!) I think every kid there bought a wooden sword. And then after the jousting they were allowed to come and be knighted by the king.

I must mention the Roaming Pickle Man. I made sure to get a picture of him in his kilt. He was quite nice looking. And he could call out PICK-LES! in one breath that had to have been 30 seconds or longer! Very impressive.

We all had a great time.