Alabama Medieval Fantasy Festival to showcase sword fighting, jousting, living history demonstrations in Greenville
Alabama is going medieval, at least for the first weekend in March. The Alabama Medieval Fantasy Festival is set to take place March 2nd and 3rd in Greenville.
Sprawled over 35 acres of open space at 4776 Fort Dale Road, this large festival boasts attractions from live entertainment, such as sword fighting and jousting, to medieval-inspired food and shopping. There is even a king and queen presiding over the grounds.
The setting of the festival takes place from around 800 to 1650 AD, encompassing time from the medieval period up until the 17th century.
One section of the festival, created by the group Historical Education and Recreation of Alabama, or H.E.R.A., is dedicated to living history demonstrations. These take place in different historically accurate encampments around the faire, and there are even awards given for the best encampment.
Joanna Scott is the director of H.E.R.A. and captain of the Queen’s Guard. She said the opportunities are endless for visitors to the festival.
“They will be able to experience shopping, and they will get to watch people doing shows where they're playing music or telling stories. They'll be able to go to a fairy tea in the Pixie Hollow section. They’ll be able to go to a joust and see real knights actually jousting and fighting with one another on foot,” Scott said.
With about 8,000 people visiting the festival last year alone, Scott said the growth of the festival is something the volunteers are happy about.
“It's been building slowly but steadily, and we are just so excited every year because the crowds get bigger and more people come through, and it's just great fun,” Scott said.
As the festival grows, so do the opportunities and experiences for the visitors. The value of the festival, Scott said, lies in its uniqueness and interactivity.
“They'll be able to see and touch and take part, if that's what they'd like to do,” Scott said. “We're always happy to show and teach. Because where else are they going to get an experience like this? Where they can actually sit down with an artisan and help with a woodworking project or listen to our cook as she's giving orders to her helpers or visiting the apothecary to learn how to make a tincture or a salve.”
Scott said this makes for an experience that visitors aren’t likely to find anywhere else.
“It's a fully immersive experience. Most of the time, when you say immersive experience, you're thinking CGI, or video games and stuff like that. But this is a place where you can literally step back in time,” Scott said.
Each year new attractions are added, making for a unique adventure.
“Every day is different. Every day, there's something new. Every day, you'll get to talk to people you would never have met if you had not come. It gives people a chance to expand their mind and expand their experience,” Scott said.
Though all the attractions and shopping are renowned, Scott said, for her, the real draw of the festival will always be the interaction with the community.
“For me, the greatest thing is always going to be the people who come and their stories that they bring with them,” Scott said. “Those conversations are priceless.”
Tickets are available on the Alabama Medieval Fantasy Festival’s website or can be purchased at the gate the day of the festival. The event is rain or shine, so festival goers should dress appropriately.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the festival website here.