They came. They conquered.
Eight brave knights battled the heat and each other but in the end it was the hundreds of spectators who were the real winners on day one of the Osoyoos Medieval Faire Saturday.
The fiery competitors came from Alberta, BC, Quebec, Poland and the United States to do what they do best in full sets of armour at Desert Park.
“We were here last year for the first medieval faire and to have the opportunity to showcase our sport and do this is fantastic. This venue is amazing and it’s already way bigger than last year. It’s an active sport,” said Radar Goddard, senior knight, founder and president of the Alberta-based Society of Tilt and Lance Cavalry, one of the combatants again this year. “To bring everybody together in this kind of camaraderie, we try as hard as we can to kill each other but other than that we’re great friends.
“Some of our people are young and have grown up in it, it’s becoming generational which I never thought it would be and really what I like most about it is it’s harder on the people than the horses we ride. Routinely we’ll have horses that go into their 20’s in this sport.”
In addition to the two sets of jousting action each day starting at noon and 4 p.m. are many other demonstration of skills and fighting technique.
And jousting is not for the faint of heart as both Goddard and Caroline Labrie of Quebec could both testify on Saturday.
Both women had to end their competition early after suffering what turned out, fortunately, to be minor injuries.
Goddard was knocked unconscious last year in her first match.
Paddy Head who first brought the faire to Osoyoos in 2016 has long been involved with medieval events and believed it would be the perfect fit for the region.
“Putting this together, well, I actually had to hire a real event organizer this year because this has taken us since September putting this together,” said Head. “While jousting is the main attraction we have plenty of other entertainment as well. There’s celtic music, plenty of entertainment for the children and even dog agility, there will be some dogs that are very good and some dogs that will misbehave but they will definitely be entertaining.”
A special medieval feast was held Saturday night and tickets are still available for Sunday which gets underway at 11 a.m.
Tickets can be purchased at the gate or online at www.osoyoosfaire.com.