The Royal Medieval Faire took place Sept. 17 in Waterloo Park. The inexpensive family event included jousting, a pageant to pick the queen of the realm, and stalls selling all kinds of items from the time period.
Event veteran Dwayne Price, who is on the board of the event and the director of operations, has been doing this for 13 years and does not plan on stopping any time soon. Price said he has seen many people become repeat customers and that the community is why they keep putting the event on.
“This event has become a tradition for many people. A few years ago when it was really pouring, I met a dad with his two daughters. I jokingly asked him why he was there and he said that he gets two outings a year with his two little girls and this was one of them and despite the rain, they were adamant on going. That’s why we do this. That’s why we come back every year. To see a kid doing something and walk away with the biggest grin is so rewarding,” Price said.
The event also featured small games like ring toss, boat racing, Italian bowling, sword fighting, archery, and medieval Pokémon.
Yes, you read that correctly, medieval Pokémon, which was played by throwing a stuffed animal version of a Pokémon at someone who would catch it in handmade pokéballs. The archery booth was run by the UW Archery club, who were all very helpful in teaching the young kids (and myself) how to play properly.
Price commented on the fact that the faire only ran one day, “We would love to [run for a full weekend], but it’s all volunteers, and we have not yet made the conscious decision that we want that kind commitment from them. We would also have to consider the monetary aspect, getting the vendors, and performers on the same page about a longer event.”
Pop culture, not surprisingly, also has an effect on the event and the kinds of items that are featured. There was a whole tent dedicated to what I would categorize as Harry Potter supplies – gnome hats, Gillyweed, wands, and even owls (stuffed ones) to adopt. Plus there were items for sale inspired by Game of Thrones.
Next year, for the 20th anniversary, students can get involved as volunteers on the day-of by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Price said, “Without volunteers [the event] just doesn’t happen. For more enthusiastic people, we can see how to get you more involved by playing on your skills.”