Medieval festival marks 6th year

Published 5:02 pm Friday, March 3, 2023

The Alabama Medieval Fantasy Festival returns to Greenville for its sixth year on March 25-26. 

Owners Greg and Nancy Ardoin have been involved in medieval living history events for over 20 years and were searching for a spot to build a permanent festival site when they came across land located on Fort Dale road in Greenville and knew the space was exactly what they were searching for.

The Ardoins wanted to build their own Medieval Village. So, they bought the land and set out to achieve their dreams.

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“We wanted to build a place where as a parent [people]could take their kids, whether they were teenagers, between-agers, or little children, and find something to spend the day and do together, and everybody would have something to do that they would love,” said Nancy Ardoin.

The festival’s setting  represents the historical period from around 800 to 1600 A.D.

“We chose the early 800’s because it’s the last time that you could have a Christian Church, a Jewish synagogue, and a pagan temple all next to one another and nobody was arguing over anything,” Ardoin said. So, we wanted to back up to a time period that was actually true and happening. And the 800’s were about the last time that was happening.

The couple are currently working on becoming a 501C3 organization for what they call H.E.R.A,  the Historic Education and Recreation of Alabama.

The Ardoins want the festival to be not only entertaining, but educational as well. 

“We’re inclusive historically,” Ardoin said. “We think of sword fighters as being all male, but that’s not historically accurate. Historically, there were men and women that wielded a sword. Just because you were a girl, if you were a great archer with a great eye, you were an archer.”  

Ardoin explained that the people who made arrows for the archers were called a fletcher. 

“That’s where we get the modern last name of Fletcher,” she said.

Ardoin said a variety of entertainment and activities will be available at this year’s festival.

“The Normans of the Southern Sun [living history camp] will not be with us this year, but we have a Viking troupe that is extremely knowledgeable about Viking lore and the way they work,” Ardoin said.

There will be jousting, sword combat training, and an open fire Medieval cooking demonstration.

Sophia Monday will be demonstrating the Celtic harp. “I’ve been playing the harp since 2010,” Monday said. She is completely self taught. 

She also had someone make that harp for her. “A company in Minnesota makes them. They make Celtic harps to order. Mine is a 34 string harp,” Monday said.

The festival will also feature several food vendors, as well as magic and musical shows.

“We’re so glad to hold the Faire there. It’s such an amazing place,” Monday said. 

All events are included in the price of admission.

The festival runs March 25- 26, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Tickets can be purchased at the Gate or online. 

Adult tickets are $15 per day, children ages 5-12 are $7 per day and children under 5 are free.

If tickets are purchased online, remember to print the PayPal receipt to the front gate for entry.

The Alabama Medieval Fantasy Festival is located at 4776 Fort Dale Rd. in Greenville. For more information, visit them onFacebook or at their website www.amff.com.