A SMALL part of Port Elizabeth will once again be transformed into a public space reminiscent of the Middle Ages for the 13th Medieval Fayre this weekend.
Hosted by the Rotary Club of Port Elizabeth West, the fayre attracted more than 4000 visitors last year, many of them dressed in weird and wonderful medieval outfits.
Fayre convener Steven Lancaster said the event – a unique way to raise funds for Nelson Mandela Bay charities – would be held at Victoria Park on Friday and Saturday.
“The event will for the first time be hosted over two days to accommodate all of the events, banquets and activities. It is a great way to support local charities through simply having fun,” Lancaster said.
“Some of the stalls are hired out to local charities free of charge and all the profits they make on the day are theirs to keep.
“Over the years a number of charities have benefited from the event and more than R500000 has been collected and distributed to charities.”
The fayre will kick off with the schools competition in which five schools from around the city compete in medieval challenges such as tug of war and archery to take the title of medieval champs.
The Algoa Caledonian Pipe band will participate on both days, leading the schools into competition at 9.30am on Friday and hosting The Highland Gathering on Saturday.
“We have five bands coming from as far as Cape Town and Pretoria to participate in this national event,” Highland Gathering organiser Llewellyn Faifer said.
“It is the biggest competition we’ve held here in Port Elizabeth and the rivalry and quality of piping and dancing will be a sight to behold.”
Lancaster said the Highland Gathering was “an amalgamation of Scottish pastimes such as piping and dancing”.
Other activities include demonstrations of medieval martial arts, musical instruments and singing. There will also be crafts, food and other live entertainment.
Rotary Club of PE West president Angela Newton said her highlight would definitely be the piping.
“I cannot wait for the mass band competition on Saturday afternoon. Bagpipes have a tone to them that really brings something like the fayre together; they are the atmosphere of Medieval England,” Newton said.
The day fayre is entry by donation.
Tickets for the Royal Banquet on the Friday evening are selling fast at R180 per person, with the peasants banquet the following night at R80 per person.
Tickets are on sale at Computicket.
A medieval dress code is recommended for both day fayres and banquets. – Tremaine van Aardt