One of my strongly held beliefs is that no matter how badass knights seemed and how epic it would be to live in a castle, I would definitely not want to time travel back into the Medieval era. So what better place to enjoy the perks of a time long-gone minus all the death from preventable diseases and bland food than at a Medieval Fayre? It’s a good thing that Blacktown hosts an annual event celebrating exactly that, complete with jousting, flavorful turkey legs and plenty of stalls selling all the equipment that you need to become your own knight in shining armour.
Since winter is fast approaching, the fayre provided a great opportunity to update your closet with fur-lined coats and fluffy hats to keep your ears toasty. Walking around the stalls also proved to be an interesting step into the arts and crafts of the medieval period. It was enthralling to watch a man use a traditional wood-carving method to build furniture and we later stumbled upon a blacksmith forging weapons of war with fire and anvil. Seeing all these skills live in action just strengthened my resolve for buying a sword, but logic won over and I decided to stick to World of Warcraft for my battle desires.
From the moment I heard about this event, the one thing that I absolutely had to see was the Full Tilt Jousting show. Two opponents facing off on these magnificent beasts while purposely aiming at each other with unnecessarily long sticks; this kind of entertainment was right up my alley. First the crowd were shown the precise abilities of the jousters as they attempted to fit their lance through small rings and stab a makeshift boar with their spears while riding their majestic steeds (no animals were injured in the making of this article), then it was onto the bloodshed! Well, no blood was actually shed, but one of the jousters fainted which definitely worked up the onlookers. It was quite spectacular just watching the show though; seeing the seemingly endless layers of armour and the unique colours of each rider did provide a bit of an out of body experience when a minute later you’d see those same people use their modern day technology to take pictures or send a text.
On top of the jousting experience, there were plenty of shows to watch throughout the day. You could cheer on the black knight as he tried to survive the onslaught of medieval artillery including a trebuchet, some archers and even a few rock-throwing villagers; unfortunately the cannon proved too much for the warrior. A Feathered Friends demonstration showcased some beautiful birds with a barn owl and a macaw being my personal favourites, although they decided against releasing the hawk for a flight since the area is inhabited by some rabbits that wouldn’t take to kindly to an attack from above. Although my party ran out of time to explore the entirety of the fayre, we did get a chance to catch some Swordplay crew in action where they would parry and riposte with their weapons of choice which could be anything from scimitars to hammers. Each battle provided the players with a set number of hit points and once a fighter was maimed, they would display a dramatic theatre of death – minus any real world consequences of course.
As the sun started to set on the Kingdom of Blacktown, the stalls began to close up, knights hung up their armour, and the crowds slowly returned to reality in their horseless carriages as the parking lot slowly emptied. Those smart enough to buy their tickets early were able to head over to the banquet to celebrate their successful escapades in authentic medieval fashion with various performers ready to keep the merriment going throughout the night. Although I did not head over to the feast, I can still happily say with chalice raised that this medieval affair was a triumphant adventure for this explorer’s party.