This past weekend I got to spend a day in nerd paradise: the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. Up until a few weeks ago I was completely ignorant that this paradise existed. It was not until after I began writing blog posts about my not-so-secret secret fantasy to be Maid Marian or an elf from The Lord of the Rings (or any number of fictional characters that wield swords and bows) that I was enlightened by my stepmother. When she told me of this most wonderful Faire and asked if I wanted to go I answered with a resounding “YES”. So it was that this past Sunday I entered nerdtopia.
The Faire was presided over by King Henry II and his wife Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. I became very giddy when I found out about this because, as you may know, this is the time period just before the legend of Robin Hood. I hoped this meant that my dear Robin would make an appearance and I was not disappointed. We had barely been there 15 minutes when my dad said, “There’s your boy.” Confused, I turned my head and let out a gasp as I saw Robin and Marian casually traipsing by. I gracefully leapt to my feet and started jumping up and down squealing about how I wanted a picture. I then took off after the merry pair at something between a skip and a prance.
It did not take long to catch up with them and they were more than happy to oblige me with a picture. I, of course, felt the need to tell Robin (yes, we are on a first name basis) that I am a fellow archer complete with a pantomime of me drawing a bow. We had a nice little discussion about our archery skills where I regaled him of my recent triumph of skewering an apple. Twice. He was very friendly and invited me to join him later when he and Marian did a storytime with the children. I ran into him not long after and, not only did he remember me, HE sought ME out to remind me to join him for the story. I did indeed attend and it was incredibly cute. He thanked me for coming after it was over.
One of the things that I was most looking forward to at the Faire was the joust. That’s right, there was a joust and it was just as exciting as I had imagined. There were two knights, Sir William and Sir Jacob, who competed against each other. Each side of the stands was given a knight to cheer for. My side was given Sir William, the knight of
Gryffindor red and gold, while the other side had Sir Jacob, the knight of Slytherin green and gray. They took four passes at each other and then engaged in a sword fight from both horseback and foot. Naturally Sir William won and I was able to get a picture with him.
The Faire was not as big as I had expected, but it was still full of fun vendors, rides for the kids, many different stages with a variety of entertainment, some of the best people watching I have ever been a part of, and delicious food. There was also a station where for $5 you got to ride a horse. You better believe I jumped all over that! The ride actually lasted a decent amount of time and served to get me more excited than ever for the trip my husband and I are going to be taking to Bed & Breakfast where we get to go horseback riding. I should probably mention that I felt the need to tell the girl leading my horse all of this as well. And I told her about my bow. And my desire for a sword. And that I’ve written a fantasy book. When I get giddy I lose all filter… *hangs head in shame*
As you can probably tell, the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire was an experience that cheered my nerdy little heart. I was right in my element. Now that I know of its existence I will be marking my calendar for it each year. Maybe next year I will even take my bow with me!
As a parting gift I am going to leave you with the quote of the day. One of the events at the Faire was a live chess game between Prince Richard and Prince John to determine who would be heir to the throne. Before this chess match happened there was a prosessional through the Faire of all the characters. As they passed by, many of the heralds and knights called out for everyone to make their way to the chessboard. This is what one such character called out: Make your way to the chessboard! It’s like Harry Potter, but for straight people!
Have you ever been to a period Faire like this? What was your favorite part? Did you dress up? Any funny experiences to share? If you haven’t been, would you want to go? Let me know in the comments.
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