Weekend fair in Aztec reflects on medieval era
FARMINGTON — The Barony of Fontaine dans Sable is no stranger to the world of festivals. The group presented medieval demonstrations for years at the Farmington Renaissance Faire prior to the annual event being canceled in 2013.
Now, the local branch of the Society of Creative Anachronism is bringing back the atmosphere of the Renaissance Faire with the Medieval Faire from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Riverside Park in Aztec. The fair will demonstrate some of the activities that the members of Barony of Fontaine dans Sable participate in, such as rapier fighting.
Jennifer Lewis, the baroness of the Barony of Fontaine dans Sable, explained that the Society of Creative Anachronism is an international group that re-enacts the medieval era. There has been a branch of the Society of Creative Anachronism in the area for more than 20 years, and the Barony of Fontaine dans Sable was formed about a decade ago, Lewis said.
"We don't recreate specific battles," she said.
Instead, the members craft characters who could have lived during medieval times — from 600 to 1600 A.D.— and engage in medieval-era style battles. Lewis' character is Alamanda de la Roca, who is based on characteristics of women living in the 1400s in Barcelona, Spain.
In contrast, the barony's president, or seneschal, Reid Anderson, chose the name Angus MacFarlane and his character is set in medieval Scotland.
The Medieval Faire is new this year, and barony members hope to make it an annual event.
"We thought it would be nice to give something back to the community," Anderson said.
The event will be free, but donations for Childhaven will be accepted. Anderson said the barony raises funds for a different charity each year, and the organization selected Childhaven to be the recipient this year.
Anderson said the fair will include a medieval village, as well as tournaments and activities for children.
Both Lewis and Anderson credit the popularity of events like medieval faires to the popularity of games like "World of Warcraft" and fantasy movies or television shows such as "Game of Thrones."
"I think there is large interest in (medieval) combat," Anderson said.
He said the media also have sparked interest in medieval art and clothing, as well as what life may have been like in medieval times.
"I think people are kind of hungry for these kinds of things," he said.
Lewis said the fairs provide a chance to get more of a feel for what it might have been like in medieval times. For example, visitors to the Medieval Faire will be able to watch and participate in sword fights.
"Instead of just playing on the computer, you get to actually do it," she said.
Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.