Medieval Faire ignites the passions of re-enactors

Jana Colgin stands between Martin Hill and Shelli Nock as they juggle flaming clubs at the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire on Saturday. The fair, going on for 25 years in Alachua County, will continue today.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 5:44 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 11:10 p.m.

Knight jousting, fire juggling and roasted turkey legs as big as a person's head.


If you go

What: Hoggetowne Medieval Faire
When: Today and Feb. 5-6: 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., Feb. 4 9:30 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Where: Alachua County Fairgrounds, 2900 NE 39th Ave.
Tickets: $14 adults, $7 ages 5-17, free for ages 4; tickets half-price Feb. 4.
Information: 334-ARTS or

It must be the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire.

The fair, going on for 25 years in Alachua County, started Saturday and will continue today and Feb. 4-6 at the Alachua County Fairgrounds.

The sun was out and shining Saturday as visitors made their way around the various vendors selling everything from shields with emblems to period costumes and jewelry.

The local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism, an organization dedicated to researching and recreating the arts and skills of medieval European society, gave free demonstrations of their work.

Their members, dressed in period pieces, showed off their skills in calligraphy, metal work and other trades from the time.

"We don't do it for cash, we do it for fun," said Sharon Harrett, a cook for the state of Florida.

Harrett personifies a 10th century Norse woman named Ceridwen o Cahercommaun for the SCA.

Shows were aplenty at the fair Saturday, with falconry expos, acrobatic performances and "The Tournament for the Sword of Power," the festival's signature play pitting good against evil.

Bobby Cook directed the play this year.

Cook has been participating in the Hoggetowne festivities for the past four years.

"It's my passion and it's so much fun to do," said Cook, who personifies Babobable the Pixie Hunter, whose costume included a hidden camera capturing "pixels" instead of "pixies."

Visitors to the fair had similar sentiments, like Suzanne Masters and her sister Sharon Oxley, who came to the fair for the first time this year from Davenport.

The sisters, wearing matching purple boots and head scarves, were dubbed ladies of the court by the King of Hoggetowne during their visit Saturday.

Oxley, a secretary, and Masters, a nurse case manager, said they enjoy the chance to play dress-up.

"You don't get to do that in our age," Masters said.

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