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Thursday, 15 August 2013 09:01

Medieval Faire in Brooks a ye grande olde time

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Knights, minstrels, ferrels, damsels and everything else medieval were on full display Aug. 10-11 as the 10th Annual Brooks Medieval Faire took over the old Brooks Rodeo grounds located in the southeast area of the community of 13,500.

Barbara Mattson, one of the lead organizers of the ever-growing-in-popularity event was happy with the final results. She said total attendance for this year's event was 3,545.  Of this, 160 people had something to do with the set-up, take down or running of various parts of the Medieval Faire.
"Since we changed the layout this year it was hard to judge how many were there during the event itself, thought it was more, but very happy with attendance," said Mattson who actually didn't seen much of the event herself as she was trying to oversee it as the weekend progressed. "We originally estimated attendance at 3,000 and we were over this.
"As you can imagine, I don't get to see much of the Faire. I think people enjoyed the jousting, the stands seemed to be full for every joust.  Then I heard wonderful comments about the living village that Living Backwards (medieval society from Edmonton) set up, they were baking bread in a clay oven they made and brought to our Faire from Pennsylvania. For me, the highlight was the Feast and entertainment."
The Brooks Medieval Faire started small with a group of people wanting to celebrate the early centuries and dressed up in medieval clothes and had some related activities. Now, it's grown to the point of full action jousting on horses, a major feast, a full medieval village along with a wide array of medieval-themed performers. It was definitely a feast for the eye.
Mattson said initially, they wanted this year to be extra special and in many cases, it worked successfully.
"We wanted the 10th to be bigger and better for sure.  Had some vision help from William Slenders Jr., the Economic Development Officer here in Brooks, as well as some ideas and visions we had from previous years," explained Mattson. "We discussed, and chose and got busy putting it all together. Lots of things worked, some didn't, some we couldn't find the right connection to make it happen. We made some connections at this year's Faire to make some of these things happen for 2014. We are always looking for performers and vendors that fit the medieval theme. All our vendors and performers are given permission to pass our contact information along to others they see that fit our theme. Some contact us, some don't. Some we welcome, others don't quite fit, but that's life."
The popularity of the event from a performers'/vendors' point of view worked hand-in-gloved hand with the renewed interest in medieval-themed times from the public, especially in the entertainment industry. Mattson said that in the media, medieval-based television shows, movies and books all help generate enthusiasm.
"There seems to be renewed interest in all things medieval due to books such as Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Pillars of the Earth/World Without End by Ken Follett: movies such as Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Robin Hood: TV shows such as Full Metal Joust, Viking, The Borgais, Games of Thrones," explained Mattson. "The medieval theme is different: it can be fantasy, learning, fun, serious. The time period was extreme in so many ways, but we choose to celebrate it the way it should have been. "
Attendance was good and from what she has seen and heard as far as comments went, she said it was nearly all positive. The plan is to review all comments and suggestions to make the Aug. 9-10, 2014 version even better next year.
The Brooks Medieval Faire can be found on Facebook to see pics and to read others' comments, ask questions and get answers. The website crashed on the weekend, but it will be back up soon at

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor