Would you like to roam through a mystical woodland inhabited by fantastical faeries, intriguing imps and beautiful butterflies? Spend a day winding your way through a medieval maze of merriment around every turn? Come to the grand gates of Avaloch and allow the lands beyond to captivate you as gallant knights and lovely maidens await you.
For us 21st century folk, the door to the magical 13th century is located just off Rt. 534 in Geneva in the form of the Great Lakes Medieval Faire and, though it’s not quite like walking through that famous wardrobe or a certain blue telephone booth, it will instantly transport visitors to another place and another time quite effectively! Each weekend (Saturday and Sunday) from now until August 17th, you are cordially invited to promenade with the Royal Court, wander through the wooded forests and exchange pleasantries with paupers and princes alike. For an extra layer of excitement, each weekend venture presents its own unique theme, encouraging guests to envelop themselves in a different persona with every experience. During opening weekend of July 12th-13th, capes and super powers were a-plenty in honor of any Super Heroes, Super Villains, & Super Pets (even those in disguise!). There was a plethora of goggle-donning “doctors” in the house for July 19th-20th which was the Tyme Travel, Alter Ego, Steam Punk, Comic-Con Blast. Next weekend, July 26th-27th, needs only one word: pirates!! Trade your goggles in for an eye patch and stay out of the way (or join in the ruckus!) as the plundering invade Avaloch. Plaid is the word for August 2nd–3rd’s Celtic Celebration or if you prefer the elegance of a toga you’ll have your chance to party at August 9th–10th’s Togas, Tiaras, Masquerade & Dreams weekend. Wrapping up the season, the battling brutes have a chance to shine as August 16 th-17th is the Barbarian, Viking, & Mongul Conquest.
To procure entry into the festivities, tickets for adults are $22 at the gate, children are $6 (or buy online and save a few dollars). Desiring a longer visit to the kingdom than just a few marks on a sundial? A season pass is available at $50, valid for the remaining eight Faire days, or come simply for one consecutive Saturday and Sunday with a weekend pass which is just a few dollars more than your original gate ticket. No matter how you arrive or on what day you choose to knock at the gates of Avaloch, plan to stand ready at 10:45am to be officially welcomed during a ceremony featuring the royal family.
Aside from the abundance of entertainment to be discovered throughout the afternoon, Avaloch is famous for the exquisite marketplace featuring crafters of all talents. Those who love all things shiny will be continually delighted at the array of offerings presented in the way of bits and baubles to carry home a small piece of the shire. Even though it rained last weekend (or maybe it was the Wenches at it again) and making one’s way through the “path of least yuck” was a challenge, it was quite worth it as it caused one to slow down and appreciate the surroundings (and the covered booths available) while encountering gorgeous glassmaking demonstrations or humorously being caught off guard by a mini catapult pummeling passersby with marshmallows. (Note: to see a real catapult, and a pair of archers with real talent, the Field of Honor is the place to be.) Mine for your own gems or choose from an assortment of pre-arranged pretties. A visitor with a keen eye should keep a lookout for a certain character of the day sponsored by the Tanner Customs jewelry stand. Be one of the first to spot her and earn a very special shiny for yourself! (For a clue before you go, find them on the modern contraption that is facebook, in advance, under the secret name of “Medieval Millinery & Embellishments.” Shhh, don’t tell anyone I said so lest I be chased by dragons for giving away kingdom intel!)