By Melinda McKinnon –
As the commoners assemble outside the gates, eagerly anticipating the start of the annual market, the voice of the Town Crier can be heard soaring above the assembled crowd. As the doors to the 2019 market swing open, the Crier unfurls his scroll to announce, “Hear ye, hear ye… come one, come all to the now open Medieval Market.” The sounds of wandering minstrels and the smells of mouth-watering foodstuffs mix with the aroma of fresh cedar boughs to welcome the patrons through the doors and out of the seasonal cold. As the crowd surges through the doors, some go in immediate search of their favourite wares, while others mingle amongst the twinkling lights, immersing themselves in the market ambiance. Welcome to the 2019 Medieval Market!
For many patrons, the Medieval Market exists as a direct contradiction to the modern shopping experience. Rather than being assaulted by fluorescent bulbs and commercialized packaging, patrons and shoppers can linger amidst the muted lighting and can be carried among the unique and talented vendors while immersed in the sounds of live music. The daily hustle seems to fade away, as the desire to wander and explore the myriad of wares takes over. There are no self-checkouts or large corporations; rather, the market is characterized by talented artisans and craftspeople, both local and from afar. From clothing to cedar boughs; decorations and delicacies; edibles and eclectics; and tables and toques, there is truly something for everyone at the Medieval Market.
Not only is there a huge array of available items, but the items are made with skilled craftsmanship and artistic expression. It is a time to seek out the perfect self-indulgence or to fulfil the quickly approaching Christmas needs, while being able to interact with the more than 100 vendors directly. As hunger begins to distract the shoppers, lunch and baked goods can be purchased at the Medieval Concession. Unlike the typical “box store” experience, lunch and coffee can be enjoyed amidst the period decorations, while being entertained by talented local musicians. This is the perfect time to re-establish connections with friends and family, while not conversing over a shopping cart or eating fast food in the car.
Regardless of the reasons why the townsfolk flock to the Medieval Market year after year, the end result is the same. Community dollars go back into the pockets of community artisans and craftspeople. More so, the ticket price and associated food purchases go directly into funding opportunities for School District 27 and the related clubs, projects, and school groups that the Medieval Market generously contributes to each year.
Among the crowd favourites and returning artisans such as Black Sheep Vegan Cheese, Wanderlust and Fairiedust, and Luxarose Apparel, this year’s Medieval Market boasts an amazing assortment of new vendors and wares including, Mask-a-Myth, offering handcrafted leather masks and accessories; The Brass Hatter and their steampunk style attire; Bridge Lake Wood Company, offering wooden chopping blocks and charcuterie boards; Riddle Cribbage Boards; Big Fire Farm, and Mi Casa Coffee.
Market dates are November 23 and 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday admission is $5 (which allows you unlimited access all weekend) while Sunday admission is $3. Children under 12 are free. The admission ticket will not only enable you to have unlimited access to the market; it will also enter your name into a draw for over 100 doorprizes provided by the vendors. There will be a courtesy coat and baggage check in the library so that you can have your hands free to shop more efficiently.
As the Town Crier states, “Come one come all” and immerse yourself in a truly Cariboo experience that has benefits, both immediate and long-lasting, for the people who call the Cariboo home.