Hoggetowne Goes Medieval
Cary Ader, Light Breeze
Jousting knights, dancing gypsies and historic heroes will mingle with visitors at the 33rd annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire on January 26 and 27 and February 1 through 3 at the Alachua County Fairgrounds. Faire hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, February 1, which is Family Friday, with half-price ticket sales.
Nine stages of continuous entertainment feature majestic performances of full-flight falconry, aerial acrobatics and astonishing magic acts. In conjunction with this year’s theme of The Magical World of Merlin, the tournament field will host a stunning show of combat entertainment during a living chess match.
Faire Coordinator Sunshine Andrei says, “Coming to the Faire and enjoying its authentic atmosphere has become a tradition for families from across Florida. The Hoggetowne Medieval Faire is a place where people of all ages can appreciate the rich culture of the Middle Ages.” Wandering troupes of actors, musicians and street performers appear spontaneously while crowds cheer for armored knights jousting on the tournament field.
The artisans 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.
The anachronistic marketplace will be filled with hundreds of artisans and entertainers. After stopping by the artisans’ booths, participants can get their hair braided, glimpse into the future at a fortuneteller’s booth or make their own snow cone on the human hamster wheel. At the food court, visitors can enjoy blooming onions, fresh-baked pastries, sweet potato fries, giant turkey legs, homemade ice cream and succulent ribs.
Children can embark on an adventure to the royal pavilion and become lords and ladies of the court of Hoggetowne or enjoy interactive activities in the Kids Kingdom. Thrilling, human-powered push rides also draw crowds of eager children to rock back and forth on a sea dragon or spin around on the Barrel of Bedlam—or they can enjoy warhorse and pony rides. Adults can join in the fun at old-world games like archery and knife-throwing.
Admission is $18 for adults, $8 for children age 5 to 17 and free for children 4 and under. Purchase tickets in advance online at HoggetowneFaire.com, at any Gator Domino’s in Gainesville or in person at the Thomas Center. For more information, call 352-334-2787.