St Ives Showground became a medieval village over the weekend, allowing people to step back in time to a very different place. Ranging over a few centuries, the St Ives Medieval Faire did not disappoint in its ability to once again enthral and capture the attention of all ages. With an opening ceremony fit for royalty, followed by an extraordinary joust, there was also some form of excitement and fun to be had throughout the day. The event was held in a beautiful and open location, giving the perfect illusion that you had stepped into a medieval village. Despite the warmth of the day, people were out in numbers ready to drink in all the knowledge that the people around them had to offer and share.
The village created was well sectioned, allowing an effortless move from time period to time period, with a map available to make sure you weren’t lost and allowing easy exploration. Each time period was well represented, with reenactors constantly living the day to day life of their time, ranging from Vikings to Kings and Queens. It gave a detailed insight into the lives of both peasants and royalty, and was a real educational experience that was fun and vastly interactive. As you walked around from era to era, there was always something to captivate. From birds of prey, to watching women practice traditional sewing methods. Not to mention it was lovely being able to be technology free for a few hours, with the exception of using your phone for a few quick photos.
Throughout the day there were a multitude of activities to be involved with. From jousting to sporting activities such as the Scandinavian wrestling known as Glima. The Glima wrestling was one of the popular activities to watch, and was inclusive of both men and women. It also proved to be rather dangerous, with the components throwing each other around on the grass. Alongside activities for adults, there were also plenty of things to entertain the children, with the hourly puppet show proving to be the most effective, despite some of the jokes going over their heads, but proving to keep the parents entertained with the story as well.
The reenactors were not the only ones dressing up, with many of the people attending the event decking themselves out in both medieval and non medieval outfits. It definitely proved to be something for all ages, and was very community oriented and family friendly. Not to mention, everyone involved with the event was friendly and welcoming, with information available on how you could join in on the re-enacting. With such a diverse range of guilds having travelled from all over the country, there were people there ready to teach you how to live as a peasant or to fight like a knight. There was no short supply on the education provided, the animals to be seen and foods to be enjoyed.
On to the more modern side, there was plenty of food stalls around to keep everyone happy, but separated from the main village as to not disturb the illusion. Parking was well planned, with plenty of spaces available and easy directions to follow, which is one of the important parts of any event. Maps and programs were readily available to make sure the day was organised and to provide a breakdown of the days activities.
Official pics from the faire by Beyond Cosplay can be found here.