Winterfest Sydney Medieval Fair returns to Hawkesbury Showground for 2019

If ye olde world of knights, maidens and pagan activities is up your alley, then don't miss the annual Winterfest Sydney Medieval Fair, returning to Hawkesbury Showground in July.

Dress up and bring the family or go along solo; there will be something for everybody at Winterfest, including market stalls with artists and artisans displaying traditional crafting and skills, medieval foods, re-enactments, kid's knight school, mermaids, unicorns, elves and orcs, archery, jousting and birds of prey.

Organiser Andrew Beattie - a professional stuntman and jousting champion - said visitors could prepare for a jam-packed festival with a few 'firsts' including Australia versus New Zealand and China in medieval combat for the Winterfest Cup.

"We have numerous musicians performing including Strayaway Child, a medieval Celtic group, and Yasmine Russell, who excels at the harp in both classical and modern," he said.

The Street of Steel will be back, showcasing the skills of resident blacksmiths.

Check out the mounted Skill-at-Arms displays at 11am each day, featuring Richmond's Rachael Sydenham, member of Historical Equestrian Games Australia (HEGA), who will be performing as a medieval Mongolian warrior.

The 42-year-old warehousing employee said the group allowed her to combine her passions for riding horses and old-style weaponry.

"With Skill-at-Arms you get to use weapons on horseback, skills that date back thousands and thousands of years. It's a really good skill with both handling of weapons and horsemanship, because at the end of the day the horse has to trust you and you have to trust your house," Ms Sydenham said.

Ms Sydenham was previously involved with the Australian Light Horse, which set her on the course to becoming involved with Winterfest.

"I was always interested in the Skill-at-Arms techniques. I did some tournaments with the Light Horse group, and now I use my Light Horse skills with the Skill-at-Arms," she said.

"We have a Skill-at-Arms course with shields and a quintane that involves a lance - a big stick on a horse - and we try to knock the shields off with the end of the lance," she said.

She will also be using a sword to knock items off a block and will be using it to cut a melon in half, all while riding her horse. She is currently training in archery, and there will be other HEGA members who will be using their bows and arrows in the demonstration.

Winterfest Sydney Medieval Fair will take place on Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7 from 10am until 5pm at Hawkesbury Showground.

Visit winterfest.com.au for tickets and details.

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