Vikings set to raid Kimberley this weekend
July 14 and 15 marks the culmination of the Kimberley City Bakery Medieval Festival’s Trilogy in four parts.
With Vikings, knights, and ‘The Barbarian’ ready to invade Kimberley for a fourth year, kids of all ages are planning to come to Coronation Park with friends, families, and history enthusiasts. From closet re-enactors to curious newcomers, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.
“A lot of people have asked why this is the last year we will be putting it on,” said Eric Forbes. “It was only supposed to last one year, and it’s gotten really big, really fast. But us giving it up doesn’t mean it’s over.”
With several interested organizations interested in taking over, Michelle and Eric Forbes are certain they will be able to find the perfect organization to take the festival on.
“But right now, we’re focusing on making this our best festival yet,” Forbes said. “We don’t want to be distracted by the future, but we don’t want people to despair that everything we’ve worked so hard to create is coming to an end, either.”
The biggest news, however, will be revealed at the end of festival speeches following the closing parade, so anyone interested in the biggest scoop about the impact of this festival is invited to meet at the gazebo at 4 p.m. on Sunday for the big news.
“This is a really big year for Michelle,” Forbes says. “Her book, Viking Lullaby, will be released for pre-sales online to coincide with the festival. This festival has inspired the picture book, and more fictional picture books to come, all about Vikings that are historically accurate, and she’s had a wonderful, talented Viking re-enactor create the pictures. It’s the perfect time to release the book.”
The Medieval Festival will be welcoming back many of the favourite re-enactors, including The Barbarian, Viking re-enactment groups: The Sons of Fenrir, Munnin’s Saga, and The Ulfhéðnar Viking Group; medieval groups: Dragon’s Own, Wardens of the Red Tower, Fighters of the Feral Fang; and welcoming new groups: Lethbridge Medieval Club, The Historical Mythological Fantasy Society, and the Cranbrook Scandinavian Club.
The festival will kick off with the parade through the Platzl and welcome speeches, with the Medieval, Viking, and Vendor Villages (ATM available!) all located by Centennial Hall in the Coronation Park Ball diamonds. “With limited mobility, some people had difficulties accessing everything, so this year, the festival will be all in one location,” Forbes said. The only exceptions being the opening and closing parades and Medieval Mass on Sunday morning at 9, which will be based in and around the gazebo.
The Viking Village expects to see over 60 Vikings this year – more than three times the number of the first Medieval Festival.
The Medieval Village is also growing, with more options to see and do. And, of course, the Vendor village will be there for people to pick up their own Viking and Medieval clothing and armor, jewelry, hair accessories, Viking dolls, and, of course, things to eat.
“Friday the bakery will be closed down, in order for us to set up, and go medieval,” Forbes said. And people looking for cinnamon buns, buns, breads, and the popular, returning “rats on a stick”, will be able to find them at the medieval bakery in the village for the weekend.
Cash is the preferred currency of choice for many vendors, with an ATM planned to be onsite, although some vendors are also set up with more modern means of transactions as well.
The festival village will be open to the public after the parade Saturday morning (around 10:30) until 5 in the evening, and on Sunday from 10 a.m. until just before 4 p.m., when the final parade starts. The public is reminded that the festival grounds are closed to the public during the rest of the time, so the Vikings and knights can get their beauty sleep after all their fighting through the day!
With children of all ages preparing their costumes, Forbes wants people to know that from people walking past in shorts and t-shirts to those dressed up in hand sewn historically accurate costumes from top to bottom, everyone is invited to join the festival. It is free to attend, with donations very much appreciated.
Medieval bags and t-shirts are also available at The Kimberley City Bakery until the festival to help raise funds to bring this festival to town, and will be available at the information table at the festival.
The Kimberley City Bakery Medieval Festival is the perfect family weekend getaway for families all over the Kootenays and beyond.
With fight reenactments, kiddie Vik (kids fighting Vikings with pool noodles), dancing, story telling, parades, medieval mass, and more, there will definitely be something for everyone to enjoy, and will be a weekend to remember for years to come.
Lead image submitted