Upper Canada Village goes medieval

    MORRISBURG, ON, June 8 /CNW/ - From the 19th Century to the Middle Ages -
for four days in June, historic Upper Canada Village, an attraction famed for
its authentic depiction of life in the 1860s, will be offering visitors a
second gateway into the past, to a much earlier era when chivalry and revelry
were at their best. From June 11 to 14, the attraction will play host to its
second annual MEDIEVAL FESTIVAL, the largest event of its kind in Eastern
Ontario. The festival will showcase a full array of entertainment designed to
amaze and dazzle all ages, in a recreated medieval encampment set on the
border of Upper Canada Village, just one hour south of Ottawa.
    According to Pat Macdonald, General Manager and CEO of the St. Lawrence
Parks Commission which operates Upper Canada Village, visitors to the Medieval
Festival this year are going to get a lot more than they bargained for.
"Admission to the Medieval Festival is included in Upper Canada Village's
regular admission rates this year, meaning tremendous value ... two historic
and entertaining attractions for the price of one!!" Visitors will time warp
to the grounds of the Medieval Festival through a castle facade entrance at
the east end of the Village, and still have full access to the Village's
authentic 19th century program during the festival dates.
    Upon entering the grounds of the Medieval Festival, guests are guaranteed
to be entertained, engaged, enriched and educated, finding themselves in a
time when wizards conjured secret spells, falcons hunted for their masters,
warfare was conducted with trebuchets, and knights jousted on horseback to win
royal favour. The festival promises back-to-back entertainment and guests are
invited to join in the fun by dressing in their own medieval garb to blend in
with the folk on the shire!!
    The highlight of the festival will be the Knights of Valour ... renowned
for their exciting shows of horsemanship, bravery and chivalry. They will
perform two action-packed shows per day (one heavy armour joust and one light)
in a style worthy of Kings! The Knights of Valour have been entertaining
audiences for over a decade with their jousting demonstrations, one of the
hardest hitting sports ever conceived. Between shows, the Knights will meet
with the public to talk about the history and chivalry of Knights. Their
magnificent horses will be on view throughout the festival.
    The festival will offer continuous entertainment outside of the Jousting
Tournaments. Colourful medieval performers will present a variety of
interactive shows each day. Comedians, dancers and wandering minstrels will
create music and laughter throughout the event. Talented buskers Crye and
Crudgel (performing duel stand-up, balancing acts, tumbling, stage combat and
more), as well as a Wizard, belly dancers, and the "Bakers Dozen" will all add
to the faire atmosphere. The Montreal group "Ritournelle" will present a
workshop on medieval music, instruments and songs on Thursday and Friday. A
Viking encampment, archery demonstrations and armoured and unarmoured combat
demonstrations by the Ottawa Medieval Sword Guild are sure to keep the
excitement level high. And last but not least, the Royal Court, including the
King and Queen and their entourage, will be presiding over a number of events
throughout the festival.
    There will also be plenty of opportunity to witness the fine
craftsmanship of medieval artisans during the festival. Demonstrations in
blacksmithing, armour manufacturing, lace-making, leather working and
chainmaille making will all be part of the festival's activities.
    Falconry shows featuring "Birds of Prey" will also be offered, with the
birds on display between shows. Children of all ages are invited to experience
medieval punishments like the stocks and a jail and try their hand at one of
several games throughout the festival including Jacob's Ladder, mini Catapults
and a Turtle Race game. A number of colourful merchants will set up their
tents at the festival, offering a wide selection of medieval merchandise and
food items. Be sure to stop in at the Bow and Arrow Alehouse and Eatery during
the day.
    On Saturday evening after the day's festivities, visitors can take part
in a sumptuous and entertaining King's Banquet that starts at 6:00 p.m.,
complete with medieval-style fare and entertainment. The cost for the banquet,
including dinner, entertainment by the Eclectic Revival, and admission for the
day program, is $65 for adults (13 & older), and $55 for children (12 &
under). GST is extra. All sales are final, and banquet seating must be
reserved ahead online at www.medievalfestival.ca.
    The Medieval Festival is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on both
Thursday, June 11 & Friday, June 12. On the weekend, it is open from 9:30 a.m.
to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 13, and on Sunday June 14. (The event expects
to draw lots of school children visiting on Thursday and Friday for a special
Medieval Education Program from 9:30 to 3:00 p.m.). The weekend will be filled
with continuous shows and entertainment, artisans and merchants ... all in
true Medieval-style! All performances are included in the price of your
festival ticket; games and food are extra.
    The Festival takes place at the Upper Canada Village Heritage Park in
Morrisburg, along the St. Lawrence River and an easy drive from Ottawa,
Cornwall, Montreal and Kingston, as well as close to a number of bridge
crossings to the U.S. This location in the Upper Canada Region is about 3-1/2
hours east of Toronto. Lots of lodging and camping is nearby. See the Festival
website at www.medievalfestival.ca for more information.
    For additional information or to order a free Upper Canada Village
Heritage Park Visitor's Guide, call 1-800-437-2233 (543-4328 locally) or visit
the Village website at www.uppercanadavillage.com.

    Upper Canada Village is operated by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, an
agency of the Government of Ontario, and is located in Morrisburg, Ontario at
Exit 758 off Highway 401, approximately an hour south of Ottawa, 90 minutes
west of Montreal, and only a short drive from several U.S. crossings at the
1000 Islands, Prescott and Cornwall.

For further information:

For further information: Jancis Sommerville, Upper Canada Village
Marketing Officer, jancis.sommerville@parks.on.ca, (613) 543-3704, ext 2495

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