Why You Should Put a Medieval Fair on Your Calendar


Seeking to get out of a weekend rut and need entertainment for you, the kids, and even the pet dog?

My tip? Put a medieval fair on your calendar.

I just got back from the Abbey Medieval Festival, where I was put in the stocks, got up close and personal with a gypsy horse, ate medieval food and was a jousting tournament spectator!

Medieval Fair | WorldMark South Pacific Club by Wyndham

Medieval festivities!

The Fair

Abbey Medieval Festival is located in Caboolture, Brisbane. Which means that, in the grand tradition of any group of friends embarking on a road trip of 2+ hours (from Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast), we:

  1. Set out for the road trip
  2. Turned around for a takeaway breakkie at McDonald’s
  3. Set out for the road trip
  4. Headed back home for jacket
  5. Headed back home for iPod connector cable
  6. Set out for the road trip
  7. Drove
  8. Wondered if we were there yet
  9. Drove some more
  10. Arrived

Upon our arrival, we could only marvel at the sheer size of the fair – this wasn’t some dinky community hall gathering; it was a celebration!

There were hobbyist historical re-enactors, actors, costumed fair patrons, normally-dressed fair patrons, delighted children, in-character stallholders, medieval animals and more…

In the stocks

I was put in the stocks!

The Activities

Where to begin?

Sprawling in every direction and punctuated by cries of ‘Huzzah!’, the Abbey Medieval Festival spanned all eras of the Middle Ages. There was a Byzantine area with real artefacts, a Gypsy camp to get your fortune read for 2 gold coins ($2), mead and mulled wine at the Stag Inn, workshops and demonstrations on every aspect of medieval life imaginable, and historical re-enactments.

We watched a seige re-inactment in the Castle Arena, Turkish Oil Wrestling in the Oil Wrestling Pit (no, the wrestlers did not look even a little like Hugh Jackman), giggled at the Morris Dancing Workshop in the Village Green, popped by Fencing for Beginners, were surprised by real cannonball fire at the Finale (much louder than it sounds in the movies!) and, of course, were avid spectators at the Jousting Tournament featuring world champion jousters. That’s right: there is, indeed, a world ranking for jousters.

The highlight would have been the stocks. Specifically, I was placed in the stocks near the Dark Ages and Viking encampment and auctioned off by a costumed knight as a suitable wife for cooking and cleaning the house. A bid was received – a total of one hardy goat. Luckily, I was soon released and soothed my pride by sampling medieval wares at the market.

Churros | WorldMark South Pacific Club by Wyndham

Churros!

The Food

At Stagg Inn, we purchased a platter of mixed meat, where I certainly got my wish – the venison was tough as leather and exactly what I imagined when I thought of village medieval feasts.

Royal feasts on the other hand…  

The medieval honey and elderflower cordial was absolutely delicous and fit, dare I say, for a king. We sipped on the cordial and watched churros be made before our eyes – surprisingly, these Spanish treats were a medieval dessert. Who knew?

Knight | WorldMark South Pacific Club by Wyndham

A noble knight in a historical re-enactment

Other Fairs

Sadly, the Abbey Medieval Festival is over for another year, but I did promise to return in 2014. What I liked about this quirky event was that it was just so different from how I usually spend weekends.

It’s like a dam has been broken – I’m now scanning the community papers for nearby events and have since experimented with desserts at a Greek Festival and and pencilled in other local activities and theatre into my calendar. Who’s stuck in a rut this winter? Definitely not me!

Other medieval fairs around the country that you may be interested in are:

Have you attended a medieval fair before? Have any suggestions for eccentric weekend activities? Share your tips with fellow travellers in a comment below!

 

Connect with

Ilona compiles that treasury of Owner tips and memories known as the MyStory blog. She’s discovered so much to do at our WorldMark South Pacific destinations from you all, that her ‘must-do’ list has grown at an alarming rate. In returning the favour, she will be sharing some of her travel tips, secrets and curiosities here every fortnight… Read Ilona’s earlier posts

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