RIVERDALE KI­WA­NIS ME­DIEVAL FAIRE

En­ter­tain­ing and fun, pro­ceeds to ben­e­fit char­i­ta­ble causes

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En­ter­tain­ing and fun, pro­ceeds to ben­e­fit char­i­ta­ble causes

It’s nice to help oth­ers―but it’s bet­ter hav­ing a bit of fun in the process. That’s the think­ing be­hind the Riverdale Ki­wa­nis Me­dieval Faire, held at Lakes Re­gional Park in Fort My­ers in Jan­uary. The event, known in some realms as a Re­nais­sance Fair, places rose-lipped maidens and light-footed lads in a his­tor­i­cal set­ting of fun, food and en­ter­tain­ment such as magic and joust­ing. It ben­e­fits Riverdale Ki­wa­nis Club projects mostly aimed at kids, says Terry Short, chair of the Riverdale Ki­wa­nis com­mit­tee host­ing the Me­dieval Faire over the last 25 years. The club’s goal has been to cre­ate a his­tor­i­cally ac­cu­rate event that en­ter­tains and in­structs vis­i­tors, he says. And the idea has worked: Ex­pect some 15,000 of us to visit over the fes­ti­val’s four-day run start­ing on Jan. 7. “If [you] walked in at 9 a.m.,” he says, “don’t ex­pect to see all the en­ter­tain­ment in one day, it’s that big now. And ours is a fam­ily show, how it would have been in Europe.”

Those liv­ing in the Mid­dle Ages, or the me­dieval pe­riod of about 1,000 years, had the same needs to amuse them­selves as those of us in mod­ern times, Short says. The Riverdale Ki­wa­nis Club’s ini­tial idea was recre­at­ing that ru­ral mar­ket­place and town-square set­ting in South­west Florida, bring­ing tour­na­ments, per­for­mances, ar­ti­sans and food ven­dors that best re­flected that time in Europe, he says. A quick so­cial me­dia search lists the Fort My­ers event in top tiers, mean­ing it has an im­mense following.

The best part is dress­ing in pe­riod cos­tumes for the event, that Short says “takes a year to put to­gether. There are 18 acts on six stages, so it’s a huge un­der­tak­ing that be­gins each Fe­bru­ary” when the Jan­uary show ends.

De­tails are at me­dieval-faire.com.

Those liv­ing in the Mid­dle Ages, or the me­dieval pe­riod of about 1,000 years, had the same needs to amuse them­selves as those of us in mod­ern times.

You're in­vited to dress as lads and lassies to en­joy the Mid­dle Ages fes­ti­val at Lakes Re­gional Park. Riverdale Ki­wa­ni­ans have hosted the event for 25 years.

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