Sixth annual Alabama Medieval Fantasy Festival goes off without a hitch
By Haley Mitchell Godwin
The sixth annual Alabama Medieval Fantasy Festival in Greenville, transported visitors back to the ninth century this past weekend.
The kingdom greeted its visitors with an auditory and visual welcome. Upon entering The Kingdom of Dragon Croft, one’s ears were graced by the hauntingly beautiful harp music played by The Harpers Guild, Guild-Mistress, Lady Sophia Monday. Other musical performers, playing various medieval instruments, could also be heard throughout.
The smells from the blacksmith shop were soon overtaken with the fragrance of smoked turkey legs. The hustle and bustle of a colorful medieval marketplace was replicated with costumed characters authentically conducting various demonstrations. The festival was an interactive, educational, and fun affair.
Skilled artisans could be seen making soap, weaving baskets, making pottery, and more. A blacksmith and a glass blower could be found on the 30-acre span of archaic exhibitions, along with an artisan of chain mail. All the while, each artist teaching the hows and whys regarding the way things were once done.
Throughout the day there were educational sessions on medieval military life, combat weapons, upkeep, and training. The sword fighting and jousting competitions throughout the two day festival, put this education into action.
Comedy and theater acts were enjoyed by attendees. There was a birds of prey show by Winged Ambassadors; a group whose’ purpose is environmental education. The American bald eagle from Banning Farms also took a flight at the festival.
Mistress Judith Cook (Janet Wright) demonstrated medieval style cooking over a five-foot cooking pit.
In total, there were around eighty craftsmen, artisans, and vendors.
Chloe Langston of Greenville has attended the fair each year since it began coming to the county.
“It is an awesome event. I love the atmosphere and seeing everyone in costume. There is something going on every hour. You could see a magic show and then walk on down and see a live jousting competition. More and more booths have been added each year as well,” she said.
“It is hard to find entertainment like this in the south. Other than in Greenville, I think the closest medieval festival is around eight hours away.”
Langston’s 4-year-old son, River, really enjoyed the event. Pretending to be a knight with the toy sword they purchased at the festival was his favorite part.
The entire event, located on Ft. Dale road, is run by volunteers and the money raised goes to nonprofit organizations. The Winged Ambassadors Program and the Butler County Humane Society were the recipients of this year’s’ proceeds.
Due to COVID, the event normally slated for March, had to be canceled this year. Those involved with the event were excited for the September celebration and look forward to being back on track for March of next year.
For more information on participating in next year’s event as a vendor, volunteer, teacher or demonstrator, or in any other fashion, please visit The Alabama Medieval Fantasy Festival at Almff.com or contact them at email@example.com.