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Joineth the Calgary Medieval Faire & Artisan Market for thine enjoyment 

By Vipasha Paul, September 14 2022

Hear ye, hear ye! Grab a sword, grab a friend and attend the next Calgary Medieval Faire and Artisan Market. The three-day event is held at the end of August, and is located at the Wild Wild West Event Centre. As stated in the name, the festival is a celebration of medieval costumes, games, jousting and art. 

It was raining heavily on the day I attended the faire but not a single person wasn’t in high spirits. The open grounds allowed for guests to walk around and truly immerse themselves in the medieval atmosphere. There were numerous stalls, all with their own themes and knick-knacks for guests to ogle at and purchase from, if they so choose. Handcrafted items and jewelry dominated many of the tents, with an assortment of crystal crowns and necklaces, rustic journals, delicate glass apothecary bottles, miniature cottages and sculpted wax candles. There was also a tarot card reading tent, mead tasting and stuffed dragons — something enjoyable for every age. 

The two major events taking place each day were the costume contest and the jousting tournament. The jousting arena was overlooked by bleachers, set up with blue and yellow flags. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled due to the rain in order to protect the horses and riders. Whether or not the jousting tournament took place, however, there were still many other fantastical elements in the faire to appreciate — one of which was the costume contest.

The costume contest, judged by the “king and queen,” boasted the guests’ creative attire. There were ladies in corsets wielding axes and knights with plastic dragons on their shoulders. A personal favourite included a mage costume with a fake white beard and a purple cloak, crooked staff, spellbook and all. All the while, a bearded man with a very convincing Scottish accent led the crowd with a chant about sages and quests. The persistent rain, the jaunty tunes and the creative outfits truly created a wonderful picture of the Middle Ages — a more wizard and dragon-filled Middle Ages, but wonderful, nonetheless. 

After all that excitement, it was only natural to get hungry. The faire had no shortage of food — there were various food trucks, pop and alcohol stands to choose from. Although they didn’t have many accurate medieval foods, poutine, burgers, nachos and chicken fingers were definitely more practical than a bowl of bran. 

The highlight of the entire event, however, was the kind and inclusive environment. Guests of all backgrounds and their vibrant personalities were welcomed and enveloped in a community of their peers, without fear of judgment. Anyone can shed their hesitation, doubt and insecurities in this pocket of the past. There’s no better way to end summer than with knights on horses, beautiful art and a warm atmosphere. For more information on the faire such as future dates and how to get involved, visit the Medieval Faire & Artisan Market website.

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