Sandra is a senior crimes and justice reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Tauranga travels back in time

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The Medieval Faire at the Tauranga Racecourse with Gladiator fighters Victor Rosendale and David Layzel. Photo/George Novak
The Medieval Faire at the Tauranga Racecourse with Gladiator fighters Victor Rosendale and David Layzel. Photo/George Novak

Hundreds of Tauranga locals took a big step back into history this weekend, including Matua teenager Arnold Rueben.

The 11-year-old Otumoetai Intermediate student, garbed in medieval costume, and his mother Petra Wohlers were among the large crowd who attended the NZ Medieval Faire at Tauranga Racecourse yesterday.

The three-day faire, making its inaugural visit to Tauranga, saw the racecourse transformed into a living history of the Middle Ages.

"Coming from Germany, which has a long and rich history, this has been like stepping back to my ancestors' time which goes back a long, long way. It's been a great history lesson for sure."
German-born history buff Arnold

That included medieval re-enactors from all around the North Island decked out in full medieval outfits, a traders' market, battle re-enactments, wandering minstrels, storytellers and a play called Dye Another Day, loosely based on the story of the 1066 Battle of Hastings.

There were also plenty of medieval activities for young and old alike to have a go at.

Arnold, a German-born history buff, said he loved anything to do with history including dressing up in a gladiator costume that his parents bought him in Germany in 2014.

"I really enjoy getting into character. Drama is one of my favourite subjects," he said.

"Coming from Germany, which has a long and rich history, this has been like stepping back to my ancestors' time which goes back a long, long way. It's been a great history lesson for sure."

Organiser Andria Goodliffe said holding events like this was a chance to share their passion with the rest of the community.

Ms Goodliffe said because the event was spread over three days it was hard to estimate the total turnout, but at some points the crowds around the village green were "four to five rows deep".

"It's been a magnificent weekend. There would have been somewhere in the region of 200 re-enactors, entertainers and traders who also participated in the faire.

"We have had a marvellous time participating in medieval times and thoroughly enjoyed bringing snippets of history to the general public who may not have seen or known about those times.

"The feedback from the crowd has been awesome."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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