If you haven’t seen a good old-fashioned joust, I’d highly recommend the Medieval Faire visiting St Ives this month, writes NSM Alison Thompson. Imagine grubby folk running around pretending that they don’t have a car nor various other 21st century commitments and you are pretty much spot on.
Setting up camp in the St Ives Showground, this is a fabulously fun day out for all the family. My family and I were lucky enough to visit the Faire last year and were surprised to see a family-friendly event that was not jam-packed full of people and irrelevant stalls selling plastic toys and other useless things my kids always seem to want/need. The organisers stuck to the theme and went for it! There was plenty of space for the kids to run and enjoy themselves, but enough to see and do to keep everyone occupied for the day out.
Running over two days, the Faire provides plenty of hands-on activities for the kids including a Punch and Judy show, a story tent, a comedy show (check age-appropriate content) plus some medieval martial arts defence training. You can also experience live shows, the most exciting being the jousting. The event attracts jousters from around the world and the flamboyant show will get the crowds cheering and jeering in all the right places.
Visit the event website (stivesmedievalfaire.com.au) and read the profile of each knight participating in the event – yes, each knight has a profile and each takes their sport very seriously. Arne Goets (Netherlands) boasts riding in more than 750 shows and has broken well over 1500 lances, while Rod Walker (Australia) is the most experienced jouster in the Southern Hemisphere. All Knights are jousting for the St Ives Medal and, if last year was anything to go by, this event is well worth making the effort to see.
To see the Medieval Faire back for another year is great – the kids are off their devices and in a field, they are learning about a time in history that didn’t embrace cleanliness quite as much as we do these days, plus they get to use their imagination. Putting themselves into this lifestyle (hard not to when every other person is dressed in medieval attire) also gives them a sense of adventure and intrigue that is not always discovered on a weekend out and about in Sydney.
This year you can experience a good, old-fashioned medieval feast on the Friday and Saturday evening. This is recommended for older kids and adults as I am sure the ale may flow as the dancing begins! Having not experienced this I can only imagine the setting – plenty of meat dishes and a fire juggler or two for entertainment. These tickets are separate to the entry ticket so be sure to check the website if you are interested.
For those of you who have younger kids and don’t want to hang around for the feast, there are many food stalls at the Faire with plenty of variety to keep all ages fed and hydrated for the day. While you are waiting for your food, you may even get a glimpse of the court jester as he roams the crowd showing off his tricks. We found him very entertaining and great with the kids.
So, if you fancy something different to do be sure to ventur to the St Ives Medieval Faire. This year it is on 19 and 20 September at the St Ives Showground on Mona Vale Road. For more information, click here.
Have you been to the St Ives Medieval Faire before? We’d love to hear about your highlights in the comments section below.
Looking for other activities to do with the kids, from fetes and festivals to kids’ shows? Check out the NSM What’s On section.