Sunday, November 22, 2009

Time Travel Made Fun

This weekend The Colonel, Spud and I time traveled to the year 1066. We attended the Sarasota Medieval Fair. This year's theme was the Battle of Hastings.

We love going to festivals and fairs. The last medieval fair we attended was while we lived in Key West. We were told that Tampa has a larger fair than Sarasota, so we will definitely be looking into that.

We purchased our tickets at the gate. We used cash but a sign showed that they also accepted Master of the Card and Lady Visa.
Before the gates were opened William, Duke of Normandy and his entourage arrived and he addressed the crowd.

He told us how he was going to fight the Anglo-Saxon King of England, Harold Godwinson to become the next king of England (the real Duke of Normandy would be victorious in the Battle of Hastings in 1066). As he was talking to the crowds we heard running and shouting coming from the opposite direction. It was the King of England and his entourage. They arrived winded and exhausted (the real King of England had just repelled a Viking invasion in northern England and marched to southern England two weeks prior to the battle of Hastings).

Words were exchanged and it was decided that the two and their armies would do battle on the Human Combat Chess Field within the gates at 12 of the clock. That said and done, the gates were now open to the public.
The Colonel, Spud and I walked around taking in the sights, scoped out where the best fair food would be and planned our day.

We listened to singers of bawdy pub songs (made PG for the family audiences)...

We witnessed Todd Key's Flying Debris Show.

He juggled a can of Spam...

One of the highlights of our day was the jousting competition. Watching the knights atop their huge horses as they rode past, spearing brass rings with their lances and riding towards one another with the intent of unseating their opponent was like traveling through time. I felt like I was really in the year 1066.
Another highlight was the Human Combat Chess. At 12 of the clock the English and the Normans met one another on the chess field (remember it is the Battle of Hastings reenacted). The English king would order one of his players to move to a square on the field and then the Norman leader would order one of his to move. If two players met one another on the same square a battle would commence. It was fun to watch.

This "chess match" was part 1 of the battle reenactment. Part 2 would take place at 4:15 of the clock. We did not stay at the fair long enough to see that because we wanted to be able to visit The Colonel's parents and have dinner with them (they live near Sarasota) and get back home at a decent hour. I do not know who won the match, but it they were staying true to history, it would be the Normans who won.
The Colonel and I were granted honorary knighthood which was witnessed by the king's games masters. The Colonel through archery when he shot two arrows into a heart shaped target and me when I hurled a battle axe into the heart of the running man target.
Spud enjoyed getting his picture taken with one of the fairies that was walking around the fair.

Some more of the characters at the fair...

I just had to snap this photo. I liked the visual of 1066 meets 2009 through the cooler being cleverly disguised as a chest.

Before we left the fair we purchased a roasted turkey leg for The Colonel's mother. We knew there would be some at the fair and were prepared by pre-packing a Ziploc bag for transport from Medieval Fair to mother. She loved it!

The Colonel, Spud and I had a wonderful day as we traveled through time with the Lords and Ladies of 1066.

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