It was an enthralling and informative event and surprisingly, there are a large number of people who are interested in this vast period of time in history. So interested, that they re-enact many different aspects of medieval life repeatedly; at festivals, fairs, competitions and club meetings all over Australia and the world.
Some 1000 years are covered under the banner of â€˜Medievalâ€™ or â€˜Middle Agesâ€™ and as such, there is a wide variety of costumes to choose from and it was heartening to see so many people taking advantage of this, not just the vendors and re-enactment groups, but at least half of the visitors too! The atmosphere (and the weather) was friendly, as we wandered amongst knights, peasants, outlaws, town cryers, blacksmiths, friars, musicians, merchants, soldiers, archers, lords and ladies.
We meandered through the medieval village, watching the peasants go about their daily business of cooking, weaving, sewing, gathering food, archery, apothecary, carpentry, blacksmithing and armoury. Merchants Lane saw a mixed array of stalls where you could buy anything medieval including swords, shields, chain-mail, jewellery, a reading of your future, fantasy and gothic icons, costumes, furniture and books, just to name a few.
The re-enactment groups were a sight to behold, dressed in their chain-mail and armour of the day and engaging in un-choreographed fights in the central arena.The audience was consumed with the displays, empathising verbally with each skilful blow and marvelling in the strength required to deliver it. There was something for everyone, with a timetable in half hour blocks from 10am until 4pm meaning that you had over 8 activities to choose from, every 30 minutes.
The childrenâ€™s favourite had to be Punch and Judy, where the laughter and audience responses engulfed all other music and activity surrounding it. I find resounding agreement in Punchâ€™s famous words â€œThatâ€™s the way to do itâ€ because that sure is the way to run a Medieval Fair! Donâ€™t miss next yearâ€™s!
Visit medievalsa.org for more information.