Saturday, 21 May 2011

Ironfest! (Part 1)

So finally I have something to show you instead of taunting you about it! Just a warning, this post is VERY long and photo heavy (click on the photos for enlargements). You can leave now, or go and grab yourself a coffee and keep reading. :D I actually had to split it up into two posts as there were that many photos and that much I wanted to show you!! Come back tomorrow for Part 2. :D

Last Saturday, we went to a local festival called IRONFEST. This is from their website:

For those people new to Ironfest, it is a cool arts Festival with a Metal Edge, featuring art exhibitions, stalls, live music, street performance, historical re-enactments, (including St George’s Day Jousting and a Napoleonic battle re-enactment entitled ‘The Battle of Lithgow’ featuring infantry, cannons and cavalry!), blacksmithing demonstrations, workshops, busking competitions, automotive displays, educational, historical and technological displays and lots more of a particularly ‘steamy’ nature this Ironfest!

Note: For those of you with less than virtuous thoughts, 'steamy' is in reference to the Steampunk focus of this year's festival. ;)

Although it was absolutely freezing (the temperature didn't get much above 8C all day!), the sun was shining and we made sure we were rugged up for the day. Thankfully there were lots of events to see, stalls to browse and many Steampunk- and Napoleonic-costumed members of the public to gawk at which helped to keep our minds off our frozen limbs.

First up was the Skill at Arms - a Medieval-style test of skill involving a rider on horseback and a number of tests that the rider had to complete. Such tests included picking up rings with a sword,

slashing cabbages and apples on poles, then striking a target,

and finally making a Quintain spin.

The competitors used the Skill At Arms event as practice for their jousting match later on in the day.

The next event to see was Horse Archery where horseback riders demonstrated their skills at archery whilst galloping passed a target (rubber Boar seemed to feature heavily on the menu that night).

Back to the jousting arena, and the "Knight Riders" show - a very modern take on Medieval jousting using quad bikes! Unlike the horseback jousting, this was just a show and not a proper competition or test of skill. However, despite the almost scripted nature of the display, it was still a very exciting and adrenalin filled show. :D

The Knight of Light:

The Grim Reaper:


Finish him!

Other events to see included a Medieval melee (a free-for-all fight):

The Battle of Lithgow:

where the dead weren't even left to die in peace. LOL

An Executioner with his torture victim:

A mini steam train:

Medieval Minstrels:

Droids!! These were actually built to specifications by a Sydney Robotics club AND they worked via remote control. How awesome! I really, really wanted to take R2-D2 home with me. :D

Canon firing:

And then finally it was time for the main event - the St George's Day Jousting (which is almost a month late because of St George's Day falling on the same day as Easter this year). This is a real International jousting event with competitors from all over the world (although this year only competitors from USA and Australia participated). The jousters compete for points by seeing how much of the (real wooden) lance broke off when they struck their competitors' shield (situated up on the right shoulder). It was definitely fascinating to watch such an ancient sport:

Phew! What an awesome day! Congratulations if you made it this far down the post! You definitely deserve a knighthood, or knight, whichever you prefer. LOL

I'll leave you now with the obligatory foodie photo. Until tomorrow!



Virginia said...

You look like you had an awesome day - my 10 year old particularly liked the jousting on a quad bike! Hope you have a beautiful and relaxing weekend.


dogmatix said...

These pictures are awesome. I particularly like the K9 and Dalek ones lol. Looks like a great festival and I can't wait for the next instalment :)

Jimjams said...

Looks like a great day out - great photos too, mine would have been blurry I'm sure!

misteejay said...

Fab photos Winnie. I love things like this but these events seem to have become few & far between here in the UK.

Hope you enjoyed your chips.

Toni xx

Angelfish said...

That looks like an amazing festival. Lots of fab photos:) I love the chips on a stick too!

Elaine said...

Brilliant photos Winnie & Gus - looks like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing. :)

Jo said...

It looks like such an amazing day

Hannah said...

Wow Winnie, looks like you had a really fab day out. The horseback archery really caught my eye, how incredible. Fab photos too :)

Lisa said...

Great pics of what looked a fab day and i love the pic of you too! and the chips on a stick!! yum!

L xx

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