Hear ye, hear ye! Have an interest and passion for the medieval, but don’t feel like getting the plague or dying in the crusades? Thanks to the Abbey Museum Caloundra, you can enjoy all the best bits of the dark ages, without the disease and death. The Abbey Medieval Festival will transport you to a place where history and fantasy merge into one breath-taking world. The festival is the Abbey Museum’s premier event, held right here on the Sunshine Coast, transforming the otherwise modern area into a medieval wonderland every year for two weeks.
Come for the exquisite detail of the authentic re-enactment camps and cheer for the clashing and brutal jousting, for the majesty that is falconry. Partake of the sizzling meats and fine mead, and leave with the taste of history on your lips and your appetite for an authentic historical and personal experience satisfied. The attractions at the Abbey Medieval Festival beguile young and old, and won’t cost a king’s ransom.
Beginning on 24th of June, the event runs over two weeks, into early July. There is plenty to experience, with banquets, kid’s week, knighting ceremonies and a tournament to cap off an incredible fortnight of medieval experiences. On Saturday, the gates open at 8.45am to Abbeystowe, the home of the Abbey Medieval Festival. Each day begins with the Grand Parade – the opening ceremony of the 28th Abbey Medieval Tournament. Witness more than 500 knights, warriors, ladies and their retainers present themselves to the crowd as the magnificent Master of Ceremonies, Blair Martin, summons the knights to take part in chivalrous combat for honour and courage. Throughout the weekend, the tournament program offers a wide range of entertainment. There is something on the program for everyone, from historical combats to medieval dance, Turkish oil wrestling to music and fabulous street performers, and much more. There are more than sixty stalls covering a huge range of products, arts and crafts in Australia’s most authentic medieval market. You’ll also experience delicious medieval food and drink. Try an authentic venison pie at the “Stag Inn”, or ale or cider at the The Friar’s Folly Tavern.
I know that there’s little to no chance that I’ll be able to re-enact the movie ‘A Knight’s Tale’ and rise from pauper to knight, all the while being Heath Ledger-esk handsome – but I figure the festival will be worth the trip all the same, particularly with liberal amounts of venison pie and mead.
For more information on the fantasy festival, or to take advantage of the ‘early bird’ pricing, visit the event website.