If you missed the chance to sit on the replica Iron Throne while it was in Tumbler Ridge, you can still live like you’re on an episode of the hit medieval fantasy “Game of Thrones” for a day or two this June at the Lila’s Angels Medieval Faire.
The annual event is the most northern medieval faire in Alberta, and will be held at Muskeg Meadows Farm east of Valleyview on June 1 and 2.
Attendees usually come from all over the region, with past attendees travelling from Peace River and Whitecourt.
The main draw of the faire is a real jousting tournament. Every year the tournament features knights and their squires from the Society of Tilt and Lance Cavalry (STALC), based in southern Alberta.
Founder Radar Goddard is an EMT in Calgary and a long time fire fighter. A true modern Amazon, she has no fear of galloping full tilt in heavy armour, and under her experienced hand STALC knights have competed and won at tournaments around the world.
The horses she and her other knights ride are rescues, draft horses who have been trained and given the chance to live a new life carrying their riders to victory.
Besides the jousting, the event will also feature a trick rider this year.
Kids might also have the chance to battle the Red Stags, a live action role play (LARP) group from Red Deer, who set up an area where kids can actually fight a knight.
Costumed fire and circus performers will rove the faire and perform on the central stage. The event also features two living villages, one of which is Viking themed.
The living villages give people a chance to see and learn about life in medieval times.
There is a merchant village to shop for a special keepsake, and if you’re feeling hungry, you can get a turkey leg from one of the food trucks or attend the full medieval feast on Saturday night.
Dressing up is not required but it is welcomed. Like all medieval faires, Lila’s has its own royal couple who sit at the head table at their feast, and you will likely see a medieval jester or two as well.
While for attendees it’s all in good family fun, the faire helps local families during difficult times in their lives.
“Lila’s Angels Travel Foundation was started in honor of my cousin Lila who battled cancer for 19 years,” says organizer Melisa Hommy- Gould.
Originally, the fundraiser was for breast cancer since that was what her cousin had, but technicalities that limited donations and how they could be raised by a third party caused Hommy-Gould to decide to create her own charity instead.
“We got Lila’s blessing before she passed in 2007 to use her name as well as her likeness for the Foundation. It took me two years to decide what I wanted to do, then my hubby got really sick in 2009, and I nearly lost him to diverticulitis,” she says, on the verge of tears at the memory.
“We spent 10 days in Grande Prairie so he could have emergency surgery and of course the recovery. It was almost $1000 for me to be there with him, and that wasn’t including the hotel, as I had relatives that live there. I decided then and there that no family should have to worry about how they were going to pay for hotels, food, gas and parking when they are already worried about their loved one,” Hommy-Gould says.
She founded Lila’s Angels Travel Foundation in June of 2010 to help the families of patients who have to travel outside of the Valleyview and Fox Creek areas for medical reasons, especially in an emergency or low income situation. To date the foundation has helped over 50 families and given out $50,000.00 in funds.
“This year is our 5th Annual, so that’s pretty exciting,” Hommy- Gould says.
“I am very proud that it turned into a positive, and being able to help families in similar situations is amazing.”
While in the past the faire has been held in fall, it has been moved to the first weekend of June in order to ensure warmer weather for both those attending and the jousters.
“We have had a lot of positive feedback, which hopefully leads to bigger crowds,” Hommy-Gould says.
Tickets are available at the gate for the days events, but there are only limited advance tickets available for the medieval feast on Saturday night, which also features a special fire show.
“We have to have a number for our caterers. We actually increased the amount of feast tickets sold this year from 200 to 250,” Hommy- Gould says.
However, she cautions that the feast sells out every year, so to avoid disappointment it’s important to buy tickets early.
Feast tickets are $25 per person, while children 6 and under are free.
Tickets are available at Wheelers Restaurant in Little Smoky, Freelance Signs in Fox Creek, or by calling 780-228-3102.
For more information about the Lila’s Angels Medieval Faire, you can also follow their page and event on Facebook.