Faire will bring a taste of Middle Ages to town

BY JOYCE BLAY Staff Writer

Staff Writer

LAKEWOOD — Medieval times will live again at the 23rd annual Lakewood Renaissance Faire to be held on Sept. 18-19 in Pine Park, County Line Road.

“The event is co-sponsored by the Society for Creative Anachronism, a worldwide organization that teaches what life was like during medieval times,” said Don Alemany, treasurer of the Lakewood Lions Club. “They bring archers, fighting knights [and] quite a few of the merchants, who are all part of their organization. The success of the event is really due in large part to their participation in it — otherwise we would be just another craft fair.”

Started in 1981 by Shelly Fedder, who owned Lakewood Answering Service, and Dr. David Zweben, a dentist, local hospitals and foundations are the beneficiaries of the faire. Alemany said it is the only fund-raiser put on by his organization, which was founded in 1951.

“It takes all year to raise funds, organize entertainment and food,” he said. “This is a day we all look forward to holding and for which we all put our time and effort into making a day of fun for Lakewood residents and anyone who wants an enjoyable time.”

The faire evolved by 2001 into a jousting exhibition. However, this will be the first year an actual jousting tournament is held. Alemany, a co-director of the faire along with Gordon Frank, said that featured contestants will come from all over the world to compete.

Shane Adams, Tim Tobey and Richard Elmont from Canada, Ron Walker of Australia and Patrick Burkey of Texas will face off against each other in a joust that will evoke the spectacle and grandeur of tournaments held long ago.

Alemany said the difference between the joust that will be held this weekend at the faire and those held at some medieval-themed re-enactments is clear.

“Ours is an authentic competition [not a choreographed re-enactment] that features jousting as well as archery, knights that do battle in armor [and] fencers with live steel,” Alemany said. “We want to invite everybody to come out and have a good time while reliving history.”

In the future, Alemany is hoping that a corporate sponsor will attract more jousting contestants by enabling organizers of the faire to offer a purse to the winner of the tournament. If such an offer

were made, said Alemany, the faire would be extended beyond two days.

While the jousting tournament is real, there will still be re-enactments that give spectators the flavor of the times. Alemany said the Knottingham Players will put on an enactment of crime and punishment in which someone is accused of a theft and is put into the stocks, a common form of punishment in medieval times.

Other entertainment will include a marionette show, a magic show, a gypsy caravan with belly dancers, medieval dancers performing a period dance, an Irish step dancing group, pony rides for the young, and a petting zoo.

Guests will have an opportunity to dine on roasted turkey legs being sold by members of the Kiwanis Club; lion dogs cooked by the Freehold Lions Club; and the Lakewood Black Hawks serving their famous cheese steaks.

Alemany said that as many as 50 vendors will demonstrate their crafts at the faire. There will be a scavenger hunt conducted free of charge. Prizes will be awarded to the winners on both days.

On Sunday at 3 p.m. a king and queen of the faire will be crowned. The contest is open to children age 10 and under who are dressed in period garb. There will be prizes for all entrants, said Alemany.

Admission is $7 for adults and $1 for children ages 6-12. Children under 6 are free. Admission includes all entertainment. Food will be available for purchase.

For further information about the faire and for directions to Pine Park, contact the Lakewood Lions at (732) 905-1065 or visit jerseybizguide.com/lakewoodlions.