Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest

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Lords and Ladies of West Michigan, save room on your calendars for the Black Rock Medieval Fest, held on 5 weekends in summer in Augusta, Michigan. The festival runs from 10am - 6pm on weekends in July and August.

Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest

You drive up a winding, forested path, and park in a wide open field. Make your way to the medieval village, 30+ acres of forested woodland where time travel seems possible, judging from the wide array of attire, goblets, and events. 
Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest

A sweet moment

There are 5 stages, a jousting field, games of chance, a kids play area, cold beverages and hot food, a medieval camp, an artisan market with so many beautiful and interesting things, and more. Black Rock started in 2012, and seems to be getting better each year, if comments from people we overheard were true - everyone raved about it, and didn't want to leave.

Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest

Sir Brian

Here are 7 tips to get the most out of your visit to Black Rock Medieval Fest

Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest

1. Make time for the Jousting

As you can see from my video, jousting is extremely popular. There's a new horse this year, Argis, and it was interesting to see him getting used to the event. The crowd was encouraged to cheer loudly for Argis and his knight, Sir Tyler. It didn't hurt that he was an extremely capable horseman, Sir Tyler, whose face was, as he put it, "chiseled by the gods." Girls near us may or may not have actually swooned. 
Sir Tyler and Argis. From Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest

Oh, the chiseled face of Sir Tylyer

You could also sit on the other side of the field and root for Sir Brian, who had his own fans. 

Sir Brian. From Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest

Sir Brian

Can't choose between Sir Tyler and Sir Brian? Do as I did, and go to both times for jousting, and pick a different side each time. The Knights of the Black Rose will appreciate it. Take a look:

2. Look at the schedule and find what events you want to see

Whether it is humor with Ric Roc, the Corvus Cohort (1500s mercenaries in hand to hand combat), the camp of the Norsemen of Michigan living history society, Her Majesty's Royal Guard (my favorite), the fantastic nerdy singers of Bell Book & Canto (another favorite), or many of the other incredible entertainment acts, lay out your time here. Don't worry - most usually perform twice, so if you can't hop to it for one performance, there will be another.
Corvus Cohort. From Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest

3. Take your time

While this seems in complete contrast to #2, it is possible - and important. Love a stage show, and then chat with your new friends who are sitting next to you? Keep talking! Intrigued by an artisan booth and want to explore it all? No worries! Want to meander and people watch? This is the best place for it.
Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest
Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest
Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest
Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest
Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest

4. Try new things

Maybe it's listening to music that is unfamiliar, or asking someone in a really cool costume to pose for photos with you (Taruk, I'm looking at you! First photo, below). You might feel crazy eating a giant turkey leg, or be entranced by face painting/hair fixing/beautiful new clothing. Send your partner or friends to jail. There are so many new and interesting things to try here.
Taruk cosplay. From Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest
Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest
Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest

5. Talk with the performers

After the jousting, go talk with Sir Brian and Sir Tyler. After watching Her Majesty's Royal Guard battle it out, chat away. Show your kids their armor, and find out some backstories. When I talked with Sir Thomas of the Royal Guard and his wife, I learned so much - that the group is mostly a family thing (as are many events and activities at ren fairs), with best friends, cousins, etc. involved. Sir Thomas told me that Her Majesty's Royal Guard started at Grand Valley University as a club decades ago, and that he rose in the ranks over the years, from page to squire to knight. They make their own armor, and the battles are real. I was surprised to learn that everyone in this group has other jobs - and that they are wide ranging in field. What draws them together? The cameraderie, the family, the fun. You'll see their kids running around, their wives helping, and realize that this is one interesting more-than-a-hobby to bring into your life. Fascinating!
Me with Sir Thomas of Her Majesty's Royal Guards. From Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest

Sir Thomas and I

Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest

I love this guy's wings. You will see many photos of them here.

Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest

6. Make sure you're hydrated & don't forget to eat

It's easy to have so much fun that you forget to eat or drink. It's summer in Michigan, which means it's probably hot out. While most of the Olde World Village is wooded and shady, there are open, sunny spots (the jousting area, for one!). There are several places to buy food and beverages (you can't bring your own in, due to liquor license regulations) - and be extra sure your kids are hydrated and are in the shade, cooling down. 

Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest

If you don't hydrate, you might need one of these...

Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest

Get a stick if you need help walking around (or want to look cool)

Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest

There are plenty of shaded areas in which to sit

7. Have fun!

You can't be surprised by this one, can you? Medieval times were bawdy, full of funny people and laughter, along with hardship, poverty, etc. Medieval festivals take the best of those times and bring them joyfully to life. Enjoy!

Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest
Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest

Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest

Details:

The Olde World Village is handicap accessible, if you are ok with wide dirt paths. There are a few hills to see the Norsemen's village and 2 stages, but my wheelchair scooter was able to climb them. Many people were pushing strollers or pulling wagons of kids.

There is a kids play area.

Bathrooms are portapotties.

Costumes are welcomed!

 

Learn more:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/BlackRockMedievalFest/

and read my latest article: The Blackrock Medieval Festival, A-Z
 

Come Hither! 7 Tips for Visiting Black Rock Medieval Fest

 

 

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Wandering Educators

 

 

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