Trumpets blast. Children laugh. Jugglers perform. Knights joust. Turkey legs are there for taking. It’s the season of the 25th Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire.
Taking over the Alachua County Fairgrounds starting Saturday and continuing Sunday and Feb. 4-6, the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire is the city’s and the Southeast’s premiere medieval marketplace with hundreds of artisans, world-class performers and a variety of entertainers.
“It’s a great escape from reality,” says Linda Piper, Hoggetowne Medieval Faire coordinator. “During these complicated times, you can step back into a time period that is so very simple.”
This is Piper’s 17th year producing the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, and she’s seen it grow to become a nationally ranked renaissance festival. When once there was only three stages, 100 artisans and 3,000 visitors a day, the fair now hosts eight stages of entertainment and brings in 160 artisans from around the country and more than 50,000 guests each year.
“It’s like going to Disney World on the biggest day of the year,” Piper says.
25th Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire
What: Festival celebrating the Middle Ages with costumed performers, jousting, living chess game, artisans marketplace, food and more
When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Feb. 5-6; 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on School Day, Feb. 4
Where: Alachua County Fairgrounds, 2900 NE 39th Ave., Gainesville, next to Gainesville Regional Airport
Tickets: $14 adults, $7 ages 5-17, free for ages 4; tickets half-price on Feb. 5
Information: 334-ARTS or www.gvlculturalaffairs.org