Coming soon to Gainesville is the annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. This is a fun little festival celebrating trades of old, and sports from the middle ages. As a parent of two kids, I must say that I consider this event a must-see for all parents in the north-central Florida area.
The Hoggetowne Medieval Faire provides a source of good wholesome entertainment that the whole family is sure to enjoy. Throughout the Faire one will find an assortment of shows, from jousting, to magic and puppet shows to acrobatics and even a living chessboard, there is sure to be something for the whole family to enjoy.
I must say though that of all the attractions the two must-sees are the Jousting and the Magic Show. The magicians who lead the magic show put on a show that will leave your child amazed. They are very good magicians who will put on a very kid friendly show, though the willing parent will often find themselves as the butt of a joke, it is all in good fun, and usually has the kids on the edge of their seats.
The Jousting Tournament, which is considered by many the main attraction, is quite the show. The actors who participate in the jousts are truly skilled athletes and entertainers. Whether you are cheering on your champion or booing the opponent, it will surely keep you glued to your seat, or rather on your feet whooping and hollering for your champion.
When I first watched the jousting, I was skeptical and expecting a glamorized version with little to no contact. What I found after watching it was exciting in the fact that the jousting was real. The excitement of watching the jousting tournament rivals that of being in the stands at your favorite football game waiting for that winning field goal to be kicked on the final play.
Other attractions, that were at the fair the last few years, included: Elephant Rides, Camel Rides, and an assortment of wooden roller coaster and swing type rides, which amazingly are all man powered. One will also find carnival type games scattered throughout the fairgrounds. The Carnival games, surprisingly, all have a medieval twist to them. Rather then popping balloons with darts, the attractions offer an assortment of games ranging from throwing hatchets, knives, and shooting bows and arrows, to games of strength, where you get a chance to prove your worth. The only downside to these attractions is they are a bit pricey, but nothing less then what you would expect at your typical fair, theme park type event.
As One wonders around the fairgrounds, they will truly feel they have drifted into medieval times, many of those who attend do so in costume, though not required, is more the norm then not. The fairgrounds will surely be full of many actors in costume who will do their part to not only make the grounds look like the medieval times, they will many times include visitors in the fun with the actors on the streets. Along the streets of the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire you will find booths selling an assortment of goodies with a medieval theme, there is even a food section that is a must visit before leaving. The homebrewed root beer from the Ye Olde Ale House is something that just cannot be missed.
So if you find yourself in the Gainesville during the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, you will be missing out if you pass it by.
For more information on the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, including dates, ticket prices, and detailed festival schedule please visit their website at http://www.gvlculturalaffairs.org/website/programs_events/HMF/medieval_index.html