“Welcome one and all,” boasts the Sarasota Medieval Fair website, “to four weekends of exciting tournaments, scrumptious feasts and pure family fun.” As early as the return of AMC theaters in Aug. 2020, businesses and entertainment franchises have been gradually reopening under various stages of the coronavirus pandemic. Now in Nov. 2021, the Sarasota Medieval Fair has returned for its 17th annual season in a brand new location in the Woods of Mallaranny, about a 40 minute drive from campus.
The fair will be running every Saturday and Sunday throughout the month of November from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Single-day tickets are $21.95 for general admission and $18.95 for students, seniors and military. Multi-day passes are also offered, including a 2-Day Flex Pass, a 4-Day Flex Pass and Season Passes.
For those with an interest in the historical aspect of renaissance fairs, the theme for this year’s Sarasota Medieval Fair is “Scottish vs. English,” with an emphasis on the Battle of Falkirk, 1289 AD. This upcoming weekend in particular—Nov. 20 and 21—has the theme of “Tapestry of Tales.”
“History comes alive when we tell the stories of the people who lived in the past, and storytelling works best with an audience!” the website reads. “Come celebrate the bards and biographers of Falkirk village as we breathe life into the past.”
Other entertainment includes “authentic full contact” jousts, human combat chess, comedy shows, live music and much more. Additionally, second-year Ezra Wilkes highlights the opportunity to buy from vendors and support local artists at these fairs.
“I really enjoy renaissance fairs because of the sort of vague fantasy atmosphere, clothes and the people just kind of openly roleplaying,” Wilkes said. “I also love all the independent artists selling their work, even though I can rarely afford it.”
The Sarasota Medieval Fair is an outdoor event that does not require proof of vaccination or its guests to wear masks, but does ask that each guest confirm that they are not feeling sick or experiencing any flu-like symptoms, have not been in contact with someone with COVID-19 symptoms and are not under any self-quarantine orders before visiting.