A brave knight defends himself from his four-legged attacker in this demonstration at the 2016 Medieval Faire at Desert Park in Osoyoos. Western News file photo

Jousters returning to ride at Desert Park

The middle ages will once again come to life at Desert Park with the annual Osoyoos Medieval Faire

The middle ages will once again come to life at Desert Park with the annual Osoyoos Medieval Faire May 20 and 21.

After the inaugural offering in 2016, this year’s event is shaping up to be bigger, better and even more exciting, according to Desert Park Exhibition Society vice president Paddy Head.

As well as the eight knights from Poland, Canada and the United States trying to lance each other, this year there will also be a medieval village.

“A lot of people were disappointed because we weren’t able to get the village together the first time and that there just wasn’t enough entertainment in between the two jousts each day,” said Head, who estimated over 1,200 people attended the first event. “This year I can guarantee that they will not be disappointed, there will be lots to do, we’ve got a village, we’ve got entertainment and we have over 20 vendors.

“There will be lots of entertainment from the time the gates open (11 a.m.) until they close (5 p.m.).”

There will be two jousting matches each day at noon and 4 p.m. organized by the Alberta-based Society of Tilt and Lance Cavalry (STALC).

“Let’s face it, there’s not too many jousters around,” said Head. “You got to be crazy, I don’t understand why anybody would do it myself but I’m quite willing to watch.”

Head first got involved with the group when she was living in the Fraser Valley and they asked her to help out.

“I just happened to have this amazing horse that looked rather medieval and I rode in the parade the very first year the jousters came,” she recalled. “I’d never done it (medieval games) before but my horse was awesome and I was hooked.”

Head took part in the Renaissance Festival there for four years before moving to the Okanagan.

“I arranged for them to come out here in 2016 so we’re starting a whole new era,” she said. “They don’t go to the Fraser Valley any more, they come here.”

Jousters scheduled to participate this year are: Damian Debski (Poland) Caroline Labrie (Quebec) JF Drapeau (Alberta and Quebec) Ripper Moore (Oregon) Ian Darvill (B.C.) Jason Carmody, Dale Thwaites and Radar Goddard (Alberta).

Goddard, the founder and president of STALC, was actually injured in last year’s first jousting match at Desert Park and was taken to hospital but according to Head she will be back competing.

There is another new event sure to be a feast for the senses, especially the taste buds.

The medieval feast Saturday night is being catered by Penticton’s Neon Wolfe Creations which is the brainchild of chef and entrepreneur Sarren Wolfe. Appropriately, cutlery is optional.

Other activities during the two days will include a dog agility demonstration, music, dancing, medieval games, stilt walker, sword fighting, kids zone and wine and beer sales.

According to Head, tickets for feast are already nearly sold out.

Tickets for each day are $15 if purchased online ($20 at the gate) and $65 for the feast only and those are only available online at www.osoyoosfaire.com.

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