PROFESSIONAL stuntman and jousting champion Andrew Beattie worked hard to bring Winterfest medieval fair to his hometown of the Hawkesbury, and this year’s event proved he made the right decision.
Winterfest attracted over 10,000 people to Hawkesbury Showground at the weekend, when medieval reenactors, artisans and performers put on an entire two days of medieval-inspired entertainment for punters.
“We smashed our target of over 10,000 people - it was wonderful!” said Mr Beattie, who has been involved with the event since 2007.
“We had people from right around NSW and interstate, all commenting back to me - through Facebook, on our internet site, to to us personally - saying that they’re all coming back again next year.”
This was the festival’s second time at Hawkesbury Showgrounds, and the team has a “three year rolling booking” at the location, Mr Beattie said.
“The plan is that we’re going to get bigger and better in the Hawkesbury every year. We’re just going to keep going gangbusters.”
Winterfest had something for the entire family, including jousting demonstrations and equestrian games, archery and combat, as well as crafts and cooking.
There were also jester shows, artisan demonstrations, a cosplay competition on both days, and entertainment for the kids including face painting, unicorns and farm animals.
Brand new for this year was Medieval Kitchen Rules - a showcase of medieval-inspired cooking from various time periods through the medieval years.
North Richmond’s Dirk Schmitt, who is the president of medieval reenactment group Huscarls, ran the cooking showcase, and said it was a huge hit with the public - especially the ‘foodies’.
“We had a bunch of people from different reenactment clubs doing different foods which worked nicely,” said Mr Schmitt.
“We had little samples that people could have a taste of and see how stuff was made [in the medieval period].”
He said the rissoles were quite popular, as was a dish called ‘mock entrails’: “You get dried fruits and figs an deep-fry them, and they come out looking like intestines!”
He said Medieval Kitchen Rules would keep on at the festival in years to come.
What were some of the highlights for Mr Schmitt? He said he was pleased that “everything ran smoothly”, and besides the strong winds on Saturday which resulted in some of the tents being blown over, everything “went nice and smooth”.
“We definitely had more people come through this year than last year, especially on the Sunday - it was packed! There were people everywhere,” Mr Schmitt said.