Two members of the Thieves Guilde battle on the chess board in the Tournament of Grievances. The tournament was filled with choreographed battles and colorful characters, and there was never a shortage of grievances that needed to be aired.(Teal Garth/WUFT News)

Hoggetowne Medieval Faire Celebrates 31 Years

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The Hoggetowne Medieval Faire celebrated its 31st anniversary this year with nine stages for entertainment, over 160 artisan and food booths and thousands of medieval enthusiasts in attendance. The faire took place at the Alachua County Fairgrounds over two consecutive weekends on Jan. 28 and 29 and Feb. 3, 4 and 5, and attracted the attention of people young and old, local and out-of-town, and modern and medieval.

Thirty-one years ago, Hoggetowne started as a free, one-day event held at The Thomas Center in Gainesville.

“What was once a very small garden event has turned into this huge event where we take over the Alachua County Fairgrounds and transform it into medieval village,” said Sunny Andrei, faire director.

It’s clear that a lot has changed over the years. Artisans and performers showcased their skills, the food and drink was plentiful, and the crowds, whether dressed in their best costumes or in a T-shirt and jeans, had a wide selection of attractions to keep them satisfied and in the medieval mood.

Jacob Carter, 9, gets a splash of color on his cheek at the Face Paint Emporium. The artist, Susan Griffin, has been painting for 40 years now. “It keeps me off the streets and out of the martini bars,” she said.
Jacob Carter, 9, gets a splash of color on his cheek at the Face Paint Emporium. The artist, Susan Griffin, has been painting for 40 years now. “It keeps me off the streets and out of the martini bars,” she said. (Teal Garth/WUFT News)

 

A stilted man dressed as a baby screams, “turkey leg!” in a high-pitched voice at passersby carrying classic faire food. He went by the name Baby Gaga, and his costume included a pocket for tips labeled “Child Support."
A stilted man dressed as a baby screams, “Turkey leg!” in a high-pitched voice at passersby carrying classic faire food. He went by the name Baby Gaga, and his costume included a pocket for tips labeled “Child Support.” (Teal Garth/WUFT News)

 

Two members of the Thieves Guilde battle on the chess board in the Tournament of Grievances. The tournament was filled with choreographed battles and colorful characters, and there was never a shortage of grievances that needed to be aired.
Two members of the Thieves Guilde battle on the chess board in the Tournament of Grievances. The tournament was filled with choreographed battles and colorful characters, and there was never a shortage of grievances that needed to be aired. (Teal Garth/WUFT News)

 

Six Morris dancers perform their English folk routine amid the crowd to the tune of a wooden, 8-hole flute. Morris dance, which dates back to 1448, is based on rhythmic stepping and usually includes bell pads on dancers’ shins and props, such as sticks, swords or handkerchiefs.
Six Morris dancers perform their English folk routine amid the crowd to the tune of a wooden, 8-hole flute. Morris dance, which dates back to 1448, is based on rhythmic stepping and usually includes bell pads on dancers’ shins and props, such as sticks, swords or handkerchiefs. (Teal Garth/WUFT News)

 

Olivia Axelrod, 3, smiles as she takes a first look in the mirror at her new hairdo from the Happy Hairbraiding booth. She and her mom, Christie, came from Tampa to watch Olivia’s aunt dance at the faire.
Olivia Axelrod, 3, smiles as she takes a first look in the mirror at her new hairdo from the Happy Hairbraiding booth. She and her mom, Christie, came from Tampa to watch Olivia’s aunt dance at the faire. (Teal Garth/WUFT News)

 

Anji Fogarty, 52, and her son Jesse Patterson, 25, test their precision at the Axe Throw. They each managed to stick four out of their seven axes to the wooden wall. “I taught him everything he knows,” Anji said of her son’s axe throwing abilities.
Anji Fogarty, 52, and her son Jesse Patterson, 25, test their precision at the Axe Throw. They each managed to stick four of their seven axes to the wooden wall. “I taught him everything he knows,” Anji said of her son’s axe throwing abilities. (Teal Garth/WUFT News)

 

Annalise Granger, 14, strikes an effortless pose while balancing atop her horse. Granger made her way to Gainesville from Dothan, Alabama, to be a part of her first Hoggetowne experience.
Annalise Granger, 14, strikes an effortless pose while balancing atop her horse. Granger made her way to Gainesville from Dothan, Alabama, to be a part of her first Hoggetowne experience. (Teal Garth/WUFT News)

 

Wesley, a 15-year-old European Kestrel, sits calmly on his perch at the Birds of Prey booth, in front of 18 other various birds of prey, plus one parrot. Wesley was captive bred and, as a Kestrel, is known for his “sassy personality” and call that is often used as a nature sound effect in movies.
Wesley, a 15-year-old European Kestrel, sits calmly on his perch at the Birds of Prey booth, in front of 18 other various birds of prey, plus one parrot. Wesley was captive bred and, as a Kestrel, is known for his “sassy personality” and call that is often used as a nature sound effect in movies. (Teal Garth/WUFT News)

 

Nicole Horenstein forges bronze in front of a flaming furnace. Horenstein is a Gainesville resident and a part of IronFlower Forge, a local blacksmith business.
Nicole Horenstein forges bronze in front of a flaming furnace. Horenstein is a Gainesville resident and a part of IronFlower Forge, a local blacksmith business. (Teal Garth/WUFT News)

 

Teresa Songster, 50, strums a soft melody on her harp next to an empty chair waiting to be filled by her daughter, Heather. Songster started playing the harp in 2000, after her daughter took an interest, and has been playing at Hoggetowne ever since. The mother-daughter pair from Orlando call themselves the Harpies.
Teresa Songster, 50, strums a soft melody on her harp next to an empty chair waiting to be filled by her daughter, Heather. Songster started playing the harp in 2000, after her daughter took an interest, and has been playing at Hoggetowne ever since. The mother-daughter pair from Orlando call themselves the Harpies. (Teal Garth/WUFT News)

 

Performer Medieval Kineval balances on a ball while juggling three bowling pins and holding a spinning plate on a rod above his head with his teeth. Quite the multitasker, Kineval continued to generate applause from the crowd when he later traded the bowling pins for knives.
Performer Medieval Kineval balances on a ball while juggling three bowling pins and holding a spinning plate on a rod above his head with his teeth. Quite the multitasker, Kineval continued to generate applause from the crowd when he later traded the bowling pins for knives. (Teal Garth/WUFT News)

 

Amy Carpus and Jason Ray, 30, demonstrate the process of coloring fabric with natural materials. Carpus dyed a piece of cloth purple using logwood and cochineal while Ray stained string blue with a mix of woad and ammonia.
Amy Carpus and Jason Ray, 30, demonstrate the process of coloring fabric with natural materials. Carpus dyed a piece of cloth purple using logwood and cochineal while Ray stained string blue with a mix of woad and ammonia. (Teal Garth/WUFT News)

 

Melanie Davis, 57, practices her weaving while Victoria Masters, 34, spins thread. All members of the Society of Creative Anachronism, Davis and Masters are the counterpart to Carpus and Ray’s dyeing process in the demonstration of how clothes used to be made.
Melanie Davis, 57, practices her weaving while Victoria Masters, 34, spins thread. All members of the Society of Creative Anachronism, Davis and Masters are the counterpart to Carpus and Ray’s dyeing process in the demonstration of how clothes used to be made. (Teal Garth/WUFT News)

 

Margaret perches precariously on a ball while her husband, Cameron (right), and partner, Jimmy (left), toss knifes back and forth on either side of her. Margaret made it out of the routine unscathed and the group, who call themselves Barely Balanced, moved on to their next stunt.
Margaret perches precariously on a ball while her husband, Cameron (right), and partner, Jimmy (left), toss knifes back and forth on either side of her. Margaret made it out of the routine unscathed and the group, who call themselves Barely Balanced, moved on to their next stunt. (Teal Garth/WUFT News)

 

Topsy Turvy sisters work together to create an acrobatic pose that leaves the audience wanting more. They brought stunts, as well as jokes to the King’s Table Theatre where a large crowd had gathered by the end of their performance.
Topsy Turvy sisters work together to create an acrobatic pose that leaves the audience wanting more. They brought stunts, as well as jokes to the King’s Table Theatre where a large crowd had gathered by the end of their performance. (Teal Garth/WUFT News)

About Teal Garth

Teal Garth is a reporter for WUFT News and can be reached at tealgarth@gmail.com or 850-380-1366.

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