The third largest event in the state and the state's largest weekend event turns 30 next weekend. Billed as a "living history fair," Norman's Medieval Fair features more than 200 arts and crafts booths, food stands, games, educational exhibits, demonstrations and an array of entertainment.
The estimated attendance for the 2005 Fair was 325,000, making it the third largest event and the largest weekend event in Oklahoma. It was selected by Events Media Network as one of the top 100 events in the nation.
Performers will entertain in the style of the Middle Ages. Minstrels will serenade, jugglers will defy gravity, dancers will prance and armored knights will combat each other on horseback and on foot. Harmless T. Jester and tight rope walker Dan Looker will be on hand as well.
Music will be provided by Counterfeit Bards and Calliope House (Celtic music), Donal Hinely (glass harmonica), the Bilge Pumps (a sea chanty minstrel group), Scottish Mayhem (Scottish tunes), Queen's Gambit, Owain Phyfe (vocalist for The New World Renaissance Band), Highland bagpipes and the Norman Community Choral Society
The Arthurian Order of Avalon will present jousting tournaments complete with knights on horseback at 11 a.m. 3 p.m. each day. AOA also will host a Human Chess Game 1 and 5 p.m. each day.
Kids can take camel and elephant rides, ride a hand-cranked medieval swing carousel and a carousel driven by llamas, zebras and ponies.
For the creative, ceramic painting, wax hands, face-painting and sand art will be available. Craft demonstrations of brass rubbing, blacksmithing, chainmaille making, soap making, woodworking, coin minting and armor-making will be presented. Demonstrations and activities will be presented by the Society for Creative Anachronism, the University of Central Oklahoma Medieval Society and the Oklahoma School of Stage Combat.
The public is invited to enter the costume contest scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Gryphon Stage. Prizes will be awarded to the best costumes in man, woman and child categories.
Free parking will be available at Lloyd Noble Center. A shuttle will run from the parking lot to the fair Saturday and Sunday. People who bring dogs are advised leash and pooper scoop laws will be enforced.
It is sponsored by the University of Oklahoma Outreach in the College of Continuing Education with assistance from the Norman Arts Council Hotel Tax Grant Program and the City of Norman.
The Medieval Fair will be 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. March 31 through April 2 at Reaves Park. Admission is free. For more information call the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau at 366-8095 or visit medievalfair.org.
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