The 35th annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire returns in person for three straight weekends and at a new venue starting this Saturday.
The City of Gainesville’s longtime event premieres at 9409 SW Archer Road and will run from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Last year’s event was held virtually and not in person due to COVID-19.
“We have plenty of returning vendors and a lot of returning performers—a lot of excited participants that are ready for this event,” said event coordinator Sunny Andrei. “We’ve all had two years away from it, so it’s like a reunion right now getting to see everybody again. It’s wonderful.”
The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners approved a permit for the new change of venue in December from its previous location next to the Gainesville Airport to the larger 113-acre parcel off Archer Road.
“Our site actually allows for a larger footprint for parking, but we have turned our fields into a parking lot, so people will need to pay attention when they are driving and not go crazy,” Andrei said. “Sometimes when you get into a big open space, you think you can drive as fast as you want and you don’t have to follow the speed limit. But there’s a lot of space for parking and there’s actually a bigger space than we’ve ever had before.”
This weekend marks the first of three straight weekends for the Faire, which will also run from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 22-23, followed by 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 28, and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 29-30.
“We have the same show each weekend,” Andrei said. “There are a few vendors that won’t be here the first weekend that will be here the second and third weekend. But other than that, we’ll have the same performances, but I think there’s enough to see because you could come on Saturday and see half of the shows because we have nine stages of entertainment and you could come back on Sunday and see the rest of it. So there’s plenty to see and plenty to do.”
The Faire features more than 160 artisans and craftspeople that include blacksmithing, jewelery, stone and wood carvings, weaving, hand-blown glassware, leather crafts and period fashions, according to the Faire website. Entertainment includes jousting knights, a medieval marketplace, full-flight falconry, aerial acrobatics, juggers, knife throwers and gypsy dancers.
The City of Gainesville Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs organizes the Faire each year and ticket prices and additional information are available at Hoggetownefaire.com.
To help ensure public health and safety, neighbors are asked to practice social distancing at the event.
For more information, contact Andrei at 352-316-5923 or firstname.lastname@example.org.