Brevard County Renaissance Fair celebrates European culture, arts

Event features jousting, archery and more

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Renaissance Fair in Brevard County is once again giving us a look into some European culture from centuries ago, making it the perfect weekend event for fans of “Game of Thrones” and “Lord of the Rings.”

One of those iconic traditions that’s highlighted during the four-weekend event, is one in which two knights charge at each other while holding a lance.

“Jousting is the sport of two knights on horseback trying to knock each other off,” Bryan Beard, one of the Renaissance Fair actors said. “The tournaments were put on in celebration of a large gathering when they would have a festival when the king or queen would come to an area.”

Jousting is just one of the several shows performed inside Wickham Park in Melbourne, where the fair is held each year.

“We have over 30 acts here, a lot of them are educators and they can educate about all the different subjects that they’re doing -- whether it’d be sword fighting or jousting,” event organizer Peter Moolhuizen said.

The fair encompasses all types of entertainment including shows with fire, juggling acts, escape artists, mud shows and interactive activities such as archery.

"We're going back to merry old England, is where we're looking at," Moolhuizen said.

It’s a look at what life was like among royalty and the commonwealth. The Renaissance was a period of artistic, political and economic rebirth in Europe that took place from the 1500s to the 1700s, following the Middle ages. This year, the theme of the renaissance fair is based on Henry VIII.

“King Henry, who we have here, Henry the VIII was a big fan of jousting, (as) a matter of fact, and won quite a few tournaments himself,” Beard said.

Beard portrays Sir William the Lord of Whitehall, who spent many years jousting.

“Sir William Lord of Whitehall was the king’s knight marshal over tournaments. As I got older, I started doing the announcing and keeping the knights in line for the code of chivalry,” he said about the code of conduct that was part of a moral system for Knights.

The fair offers something for everyone. Moolhuizen, who helped established the Brevard County Renaissance Fair five years ago, said more and more people attend each rendition of the event.

“A lot of people come in costumes and the ones that don’t, start looking for the following year,” he said. “People that have never been to a Renaissance fair, don’t have a clue of what it’s about, but once they come through the gates, they’re just excited, they come back every year.”

There are two more weekends left in the fair. For prices and times, click here.

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