Historic Days and Medieval Knights

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Experience a world of medieval magic, where jousting knights, dancing gypsies and historic heroes mingle with visitors at the 32nd Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. For two consecutive weekends, on Saturday, Jan. 27 and Sunday, Jan. 28 and Friday, Feb. 2 through Sunday, Feb. 4, the Alachua County Fairgrounds transforms into a medieval marketplace filled with hundreds of artisans and entertainers. Friday, Feb. 2 is “Family Friday,” which features reduced-price ticket sales for all guests.

“The Hoggetowne Medieval Faire is a place where people of all ages can appreciate the rich culture of the Middle Ages,” said Faire coordinator Sunshine Andrei. “Coming to the Faire and enjoying its authentic atmosphere has become a tradition for families from across Florida.”

Fairgoers do not just visit to immerse themselves in the medieval atmosphere, they come to see more than 160 talented artisans, who travel from across the country to display and sell their traditional wares. Visitors can find one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, stone and wood carvings, blacksmithing and weaving. They can also shop for medieval clothing, hand-blown glassware and leather goods.

After stopping by the artisans’ booths, fairgoers can get their hair braided, glimpse into the future at a fortune teller’s booth or make their own snowcone on the human hamster wheel. The winding pathways of Hoggetowne overflow with troupes of actors, musicians and street performers. Crowds cheer for armored knights as they joust on the Tournament Field, while nine stages of continuous entertainment feature majestic performances of full flight falconry, aerial acrobatics and unbelievable magic acts. In conjunction with this year’s theme of “The Adventures of Robin Hood,”  the Living Chessboard will host an exciting stage combat show as Robin Hood, Maid Marian and the Merry Men stand against Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Watching these battles is enough to make any guest hungry. At the food court, visitors enjoy a feast fit for a king. Tasty blooming onions, fresh-baked pastries, sweet potato fries, giant turkey legs, homemade ice cream and succulent ribs are just some of the foods available for famished lords and ladies.

The Faire also offers entertainment for children. They can embark on an adventure to the royal pavilion, where they will become lords and ladies of the court of Hoggetowne, or they can enjoy camel, warhorse and pony rides. Thrilling, human-powered push rides also draw crowds of eager children, who can rock back and forth on a sea dragon or spin around on the Barrel of Bedlam. Adults can join in the fun at old-world games like archery and knife throwing.

Come early to enjoy a day packed with excitement and medieval merriment. Faire hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2.

Admission is $18 for adults, $8 for children age five to 17 and free for children younger than five. Tickets are reduced Friday, Feb. 2, and admission is $9 for adults and $4 for children. Avoid waiting in line and experience the convenience of purchasing tickets in advance online at www.HoggetowneFaire.com, at any Gator Domino’s in Gainesville or in person at the Thomas Center.  For more information, call 352-334-ARTS or visit www.HoggetowneFaire.com.

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