Royal Medieval Faire
Once upon a time, three sterling cities stood side by side, and surrounding these three sterling cities stood four tremendous townships.
Now, within these three sterling cities and four tremendous townships, half a million merry folk went about their days, living and working as people in their day did and do: living and working in the ways of the 21st-Century.
But once a year, on a very special day, the merry folk of these three sterling cities and four tremendous townships are presented with a very special opportunity: the opportunity to wind back the clock, and live temporarily in the ways of much, much earlier centuries.
For one day, they may live in the manner of the medieval centuries.
The Royal Medieval Faire, which takes place annually in Waterloo, is one of the finest medieval festivals in all of Ontario. Ye may search high, and ye may search low, but lo! Ye shan’t find a finer fest to go.
The Royal Medieval Faire has been running for over 20 years now (the upcoming September festival will be its 21st season), and in that time it’s earned a reputation for quality and impressive design, even winning in the Best Event category of the 2012 Arts Awards Waterloo region.
The next Royal Medieval Faire will take place on September 15th, 2018, between the hours of 11:00am and 6:00pm, at a very fine location indeed: Waterloo Park West, near Uptown Waterloo.
The Royal Medieval Faire has a strong interactive element (dressing up in your most regal or time-appropriate outfits is encouraged, but certainly not required), and it features numerous vendors, displays, games, live music, magic and wizardry, swordplay and feats of strength, dancing, and much more.
Tales Tall as Towers
Royal Medieval Faire is good fun for repeat visitors and newcomers alike.
People who’ve never been here will surely be awed and delighted by each new sight they see; people who’ve been here before will know which parts they enjoy most, and perhaps will feel emboldened to immerse themselves more fully in the experience.
And there is one decision the Royal Medieval Faire organizers made in particular that keeps this even fresh each year.
Every year a team of 150 actors perform a thrilling tale, which is sure to keep medieval enthusiasts and fans of a good story intrigued, with the twists and turns of fate, and the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
Notably, every year the Royal Medieval Faire has featured a brand new story.
These narratives typically include rich backstories, and they’re always a festival highlight (past stories include 2001’s “A Tale of Two Kingdoms;” 2012’s “A Game of Clue of Thrones;” 2015’s “Who Is the Pirate King?” and of course last year’s “The Time Passenger”).
Check out the full list here!
As the Bard himself wrote, “All the world’s a stage, / And all the men and women merely players.” And the Royal Medieval Faire just so happens to feature one of the finest stages at Waterloo Park West, upon which the fine cast of players will perform.
But there’s even more to enjoy than just the story!
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Whence the Revelry?
Indeed, one shan’t protest were we to proclaim that, when the Royal Medieval Faire is in full swing, all of Waterloo Park West – the verdant fields, the clearings so fair – all of it shall ring with revelrous things (be these things singing, swinging, flinging or, should the king permit it, sprightly springing).
Verily, all of Waterloo Park West will be a fun place to be. But there are a few places in particular to be aware of.
For the 2017 Programme, there were three primary locations with time-specific performances: the Queen’s Stage (with a range of entertaining shows, both exciting and humorous); the Tournament Ring (with both a Viking re-enactment and the Royal Medieval Faire’s famous knightly tournament); and the Wizard’s Pavilion (with music and live entertainment).
One need only look at the festival map, though, to see that there’s plenty more to see and do in addition to these areas (view map)!
How Many Shillings to Enter?
The September 2018 Royal Medieval Faire in Waterloo shall feature the following fares: $10 for an adult; $5 for children under 12; and $20 for a family (2 adults and 2 children).
Children under 2, and disability assistants, are free.
The fee does not include food, beverages, or vendor goods.
Hear Ye, Hear Ye!
You can take a look at past Royal Medieval Faires – and read about the experiences others have had there –on their Facebook page. But perhaps the best way to ensure you don’t miss an announcement is simply by visiting their website: the drawbridge is always down, and visitors are always welcome.
Pay them a visit here.
One Faire is Fair, Two Faires Are Fairer, Three Faires Are Fairest!
The merry townsfolk and cityfolk of the Waterloo Region have the Royal Medieval Faire, which is a resplendent and rollicking riot of a time for all.
But we’ve oft mused on the fair fortune of this fine Region, and it seems fate is once again smiling upon the Waterluvians: for not only do residents here have the Royal Medieval Faire itself, but they also have yet another medieval-themed event within the Waterloo Region, and one more in nearby Guelph.
Robin in the Hood Medieval Festival takes place in Elmira in June (a two-day event with family-friendly festivities), and Faery Fest’s Enchanted Ground, with its family-oriented daytime events and more adult-oriented evening events, takes place in Guelph “on the weekend with the Saturday closest to Midsummer” (so June 22nd-24th in 2018).
If those aren’t enough, there are other nearby events in Woodstock, the wider GTA, and beyond (check out this website for details and locations).
The Royal Medieval Faire is a special event in the Waterloo Region, and it’s great fun for visitors of all ages. In its 21 year history, it’s fast become one of the best medieval festivals in Ontario.
What are the ingredients to a successful medieval festival? In this case, it’s hundreds of dedicated volunteers, 150 talented thespians, and of course the over 5000 patrons that attend each year: all these combine to make the event what it is.
So if you’re fascinated by tales of Arthurian legend, if you like speaking in Middle English, if you have a medieval outfit in your closet that you never get to wear, or you simply enjoy a fun time and a compelling tale: check out the Royal Medieval Faire in Waterloo!
Ye shan’t be disappointed (m’lords and m’ladies).
Written by Will Kummer