Knights, dragons and steeds ride into Queanbeyan this spring | Canberra Daily

Knights, dragons and steeds ride into Queanbeyan this spring | Canberra Daily
Knights, dragons and steeds ride into Queanbeyan this spring | Canberra Daily

What do knights, wenches and dragons have in common? They will all attend the first Queanbeyan Medieval Fair this September. Locals are invited to step back to the days of yore with live entertainment, meats, ale and more at the Queanbeyan Showground on 23-24 September.

The two days promise to be full of long-gone activities including an arena of endless combat action, knights demonstrating moves that were used in battles and challenging each other on horseback. Attendees are also invited to learn about traditional weapons and armour through shows, talks and re-enactments. There will be blacksmithing, archery, crafting and animals at the grounds.

“We also have buhurt, which is a medieval combat sport. So, these guys are different teams around the country, and they compete as if it was real-life medieval combat in full armour,” says Henry Carter, event co-ordinator.

Attending his first meeting when he was around 12, Mr Carter had an interest in history and fell in love with the atmosphere of the event. He says there has always been an interest in the era with school curricula covering European medieval history.

“The recent amount of TV shows and movies that have come out obviously helps tweak people’s interest,” he says. “Kids are always into medieval because of dragons and knights and all sorts of treasures.”

Mr Carter runs two medieval events in South Australia, and a NSW stallholder suggested he start something in the state as previous events had folded.

“It’s a way to fill a gap in the market and also keep the stallholders and traders and everybody who relies on this sort of stuff for their income, going,” he says.

Hosting the event near the NSW-ACT border meant that the medieval re-enactment and combat groups could easily attend the event. The more the merrier, as far as Mr Carter is concerned, saying the more support, the better the chance the fair will return to our region.  

“We plan to make it an annual event. Obviously, if we get the support and interest from people this year, it will become part of the annual calendar and will pop up every year bigger and better. It only happens with the support of the patrons and people who are enthusiastic about it.”

The family-friendly encourages everyone and their dog (literally) to come along in medieval-inspired dress. You could come dressed as a princess, knight, or peasant, or even think outside the box; someone once dressed as Dorothy the Dinosaur with a medieval twist.

“There’s a whole range of different costumes for different class structures within medieval society, it gives people a full range of things they can try on, wear or come to the event, buy a costume and come again the following day with it on,” Mr Carter says.

Looking for a traditional brew, there are plans for a proper tavern on the grounds and places serving not-so-traditional cocktails. Meats will be juicy and bountiful; you can’t have a medieval event without a pig on a spit. However, there will be more than a bit of stale bread for vegetarians and vegans, and Mr Carter says they will cater to a variety of dietary requirements.

Step back in time at Queanbeyan Medieval Fair, 23-24 September.

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