Winterfest Mediaeval Faire 2015

Winterfest Jousting event

I’d never seen a real jousting match before, only read about it in novels and books, much like one might only read about history rather than see it with your own eyes. However the Winterfest Mediaeval Faire at Parramatta on this weekend was in some ways like stepping back in history, yet there was of course still an entirely modern air about it.

I’d expected to see more people dressed up in ‘medieval’ clothing, but it turned out that most fair-goers were like myself and my merry band, simply dressed in casual modern clothing. Some wandered about in long dresses though, cloaks, tunics, suits of armour with weapons hanging off them, and there was even a girl who we hypothesised was cosplaying as the Game of Thrones chair…

We repeatedly stopped at stalls, since the fair was almost entirely in a kind of ‘market’ format. There was Scottish and Celtic jewellery, weapon replicas created out of foam, medieval clothing, carved wooden items and more. We probably stopped way too long at the one that sold weapon replicas - I was pretty sold on the glaive-like weapon there that reminded me of Keladry of Mindelan.

I didn’t have too much interest in the cosplay competition, so I wandered around the perimeter of the fair a little, given the ‘show’ area was in the second half of the park (that’s where the jousting and later on the sword fighting also happened) and Ruben joined me. We rushed back when we realised the horses were coming out for the joust though, and it was an epic and exhilarating match where wood went flying as they thundered past each other. What was surreal was the announcer though - totally out of the time period, but necessary for any modern event.

Later on there was also the sword fighting and I was mostly interested in it due to the fact one of the ‘knights’ was someone I’d seen wandering around the fair most of the day. In fact he was the first person I’d seen wearing armour that day, and I really loved it. >.< (The armour I mean, hush.)

But anyway, we wandered back around the perimeter again after others in our group had taken their leave and tested out the completely-real-but-blunt weapons on display. I had fun trying out battoujutsu with a real katana - feels totally different!

I had lots of fun at the Winterfest and would definitely return the next year though I hear there was another Medieval Fair the previous month in Blacktown, and there would be another in September in St Ives. It’s also really made me want to invest in a suit of armour of some sort though - if nothing else definitely a medieval outfit for next time. A Tortall cosplay I’d never considered up until now, but it might be interesting.