Tauranga will step into the past this weekend, to a time of epic battles, knights in shining armour, jousting tournaments, travelling minstrels and barbarous Vikings.

For the first time the Medieval Faire is coming to town and, starting tomorrow afternoon, Tauranga Racecourse will be transformed into a living history of the Middle Ages.

Organiser Andria Goodliffe said there would be plenty to see and plenty to do at the event, including a traders' market, battle re-enactments, wandering minstrels, storytellers and medieval activities for people to have a go at.

"We've even got deputy mayor Kelvin Clout volunteering to be shot at on the archery range - he thought that would be most amusing for the townspeople," Ms Goodliffe said. "People can just stroll around and see what life was like during that time."


Medieval re-enactors from around the North Island are expected to come, decked out in full medieval garb and gear, including armour and weaponry.

Ms Goodliffe said the medieval re-enactment community was quite strong in New Zealand and holding events like this was their way of sharing their passion.

"For people to come and see what life was like, buy things from traders and be entertained is our way to share our passion.

"It provides little snippets of history to the general public who might not have seen or known about that time," she said.

The faire gets started with fun for the kids tomorrow afternoon.

Squire School (aimed at ages 7 to 14) will involve shield painting, tailoring wooden swords, archery and combat drills for knights of both genders.

Princess Party (for 5 to 14) will have kids dancing, archery and veil making. Children are encouraged to dress up as princesses.

Over the two and a half days of festivities Ms Goodliffe said there would be celebrations of various dates in history including 866AD when Vikings took over York and the Battle of Hastings in 1066, which would be re-enacted.

Ms Goodliffe will be dressed in theme displaying her coronation hat.

She planned to take part in some of the dancing and re-enactments.

Previously the faire was held in Taupo but when the usual space used for the faire became unavailable organisers moved it to Tauranga.

Medieval Faire:

* When: Friday, January 22, 1.30pm-5pm

* Saturday, January 23, 10am-4pm

* Sunday, January 24 10am-4pm

* Where: Tauranga Racecourse, Cameron Rd, Greerton, Tauranga