Traveling back in time, to the days of knights, lords and ladies, and over-sized smoked turkey legs is as simple as a drive to Lakes Park. If you are looking for something different and entertaining to do with the whole family this weekend, the 14th annual Riverdale Kiwanis Medieval Faire is the place to go.
Upon entering the grounds, you are transported to the land of Empress Theodora and her brave knights; a land where wenches and fairies roam the kingdom. Shopkeepers, cooks, entertainers, and spectators are all costumed in period fashion and speak in the Old English dialect.
No matter what your goal is for weekend, family time at the faire can meet everyone’s needs. For the shopper, merchants offer everything from drinking horns, fairy art, medieval costumes, and jewelry to swords and even baby dragons (don’t worry mom, they are really just lizards in disguise!). For the fashion-savvy family member, there are face painting, henna tattoos, and hair braiding tents to visit. And for the wee ones, there is also a children's section with games and a few carnival rides; however the new playground just outside the faire is really the place to let the little ones run free though.
No need to leave the faire for lunch because, even though a little pricey, the faire has some amazing grub! Meals range from $5-$15 but are well worth the price. Fish and chips, smoked turkey legs, stew, and corn dogs are portioned so large, that the kids can easily share! If you are feeling like splurging a little make sure to share a dessert of either a funnel cake or double fudge M&M brownie… can you say, “Yummy,”? There is even beer and mead (white honey wine) in the tavern tent for mom and dad to enjoy.
The faire also has scheduled entertainment running throughout the course of the day. The jousting and life sized chest matches are an amazing sight, though the jousting loses its authenticity when it falls into a WWF sort of routine at the end, but it manages to stay entertaining. There are also acrobats, jugglers, singers, and comedians, scheduled through out the grounds to entertain your family and make sure everyone has an excellent time.
This event is a little pricier than what is normally recommended, but it is one of those once a year traditions, a MUST, to visit each and every year. The faire is located at Lakes Regional Park in Fort Myers and will be held the weekend of January 23rd -24th from 9:30-6. The admission is $13 for adults and $6 for children aged 6-12. On-site parking is free.