I remember 22 years ago, the first Medieval Faire in Gainesville, Florida was held at the Thomas Center. It was a fairly small function, nothing at all like the festival production that is held now at the Alachua County fairgrounds.
I will quote here, the Renaissance Festival Web site, because no one can better say what the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire is all about:
According to Gainesville legend, once a year a magical event awakens fairytales of long ago. Tucked away in the enchanted forest of the Alachua County Fairgrounds lies the medieval wonderland of Hoggetowne. Here, chivalrous knights fight for the honor of fair maidens, gypsies reveal fortunes, jugglers toss fire, magicians perform unbelievable feats and musicians provide a backdrop of melodious fanfare to a spectacle of old-world games, arts, crafts, entertainment and feasting.
For the 22nd year, the city of Gainesville, Florida will celebrate the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. It will be held on Saturday and Sunday, January 27-28 & February 3-4, 2007 from 10am-6pm and Friday, February 2 from 9am-4pm. The Hoggetowne Medieval Faire will be held at the Alachua County Fairgrounds. The fairgrounds address is 2900 NE 39th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32609. The fairgrounds are located on the left just before the Gainesville Regional Airport on State Road 222.
Bring the whole family and join in the festivities at the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire and find yourself transported back in time to the days of a young King Arthur, complete with jousting knights in full armor. There are many street performers who will entertain you both in the streets and on the stage. This is such an educational experience for the kids. They can shop in the market place while they hear minstrels singing period music in the streets. My boys were excited to see the knights dressed in full armor. As you walk around you visit many displays with artisans perform blacksmith skills, weaving skills, rope making, and creating beautiful jewelry (my favorite) many, many skills both you and your children will watch in wonder. Many of the items you see the artisans creating will be available for purchase in the “village marketplace”. You really realize how far we have progressed after a visit to this incredible festival. It is a great opportunity to educate while entertaining the kiddies.
There are also rides that are powered by humans; this is one the kids will enjoy, along with many period games that the children can participate in.
Pricing varies and discounts are offered for school aged children:
According to About.com the admission is as follows:
$1 for elementary students, $2 for middle/high school students, and $3.50 for the adults that are accompanying the school children.
$12 for adults; $5 for ages 5-17 years. Friday admission is half price and discounted prices are available for school groups. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Gainesville’s Omni Bookstore and Gator Domino’s Pizza locations. They go on to say that this event takes place from 9am-4pm on Faire days. Those with disabilities are admitted FREE. All pre-registered groups will receive a free 50-page Educational Guide to assist with classroom activities before and after the Faire. Deadline to register is Jan. 16.
Participation is welcome and the Renaissance Festival website suggests sending an email if you are interested to : firstname.lastname@example.org
Firearms are not permitted, however blades are if kept sheathed. Camping is allowed for participants only, but you are welcome to bring a picnic basket and stay all day. They also do not allow alcohol.
Gainesville was named Hogtown because many in the town were known for raising and processing pork. The name was later changed to Gainesville.