Skellefteå Medieval Fair

A few weeks ago we had a Medieval Fair in my town. 🛡⚔🏰 It’s not a very big fair, but then again, this isn’t a very big town. The fact that there is one at all is amazing! And I love this stuff, I’ve always been fascinated by all things medieval.

Path with trees along the river

Walkway surrounded by greenery

Narrow wooden bridge decorated with flags

The fair takes place on a large island in the river that runs through town. It’s a short walk from the town centre, and it’s a beautiful walk. This used to be a rough muddy path along the river, but in recent years there’s been an effort to fix it up and make it easier to use. Now we have these nice walkways past the more difficult terrain.

That bridge is what connects the island with the mainland. It’s super old, super narrow, and it bounces up and down when you walk on it as if it was a trampoline. It’s a bit scary honestly… 😬

Because of this, only around 10 people are allowed on the bridge at the same time. There were even “guards” stationed on both sides to keep people from overloading the bridge. A bit annoying maybe if you’re in a hurry, but I thought it only added to the atmosphere. IMO a rickety old bridge is perfectly in line with the theme! 😄

Medieval duel with sword and shield

We crossed the bridge in time to watch the duels. I’m not sure what the rules are, but it seemed to be based on who got the best hit or had the best showmanship. They clearly weren’t fighting to the death. 😅

It was a very hot day so I found it most impressing that nobody fainted with all that padding and armour on…

Medieval archery

At the fair, you could also try your hand at archery.
I’ve actually done modern archery with modern fibreglass recurve bows a few times and it’s super fun! Before trying I thought I wouldn’t even be able to pull the bowstring, but that wasn’t an issue at all. Learning how to aim on the other hand… Archery is surprisingly easy to do but very difficult to do well.

Table set with wooden plates and bowls

Medieval tent decorated with painted lions

Inside a tent with medieval furniture and decorations

Medieval tent

They had a small camp put up with tents that some of the reenactors were sleeping in during the nights. Some tents were open for viewing and the ones I saw looked very cosy. I wouldn’t mind camping like that!

Jousting field with audience

Horse with medieval caparison

The thing I looked most forward to was the jousting, but unfortunately, we missed it! We read the program wrong and was there too early, so by the time the jousting was about to start we had to head home. Bummer.

At least I got to see some of the horses chilling in their caparisons. 😊🐎

Medieval dress with fox pelt stoal

Medieval costumes for men and women

Old wooden fence with river in background

In 2012 I attended the big medieval week on the island of Gotland, and I’ve been low key considering the medieval reenactment hobby ever since. It seems so FUN!

First of all most fantasy novels are set in medieval-like settings, so even if the reenactment is completely void of fantasy elements it still gives that fantasy vibe which is super cool. (Yes, fantasy is cool. Fight me.)
Second, it sounds fun using your creativity to create clothes and props.
Third, history is interesting and important. I’d love to learn more about medieval times, especially what it was like up here where I live.

I’d love to make my own medieval costume but I don’t know how difficult it would be. I’m not at all crafty and know nothing about sewing. And for 100% authenticity, I assume you’d sew by hand, but that seems like A LOT of work.

But how hard can it be? Worst case scenario, I make my character a beggar. That way ill-fitting rags would make sense. 😜

Do you have medieval events where you are? Do you enjoy them?


  1. 10 August 2019

    This Medieval fair looks so cool! Love the photos you’ve taken.

    When I was a kid, I’ve attended the historical re-enactment of the siege of Canelli (a small town here in Piedmont, Italy) that happened in 1613, so it was a bit more “modern” but it was absolutely fascinating. I too kept wondering how people managed to not faint in those metal armors under then sun!

    I’ve never attended a Medieval fair but I’d love to. I’ve seen some of those Renaissance fairs in the US where people dress up in all kind of ways from fantasy to steampunk to Medieval and that would be so much fun too in my opinion!

  2. 11 August 2019

    Looks pretty cool!

    I always did find this stuff interesting. Like you said most fantasy stuff is set in times like this. And fantasy is totally cool!

  3. 18 August 2019

    I love this post! Earlier this year I’ve been to the International Jousting Tournament at Royal Armouries, in Leeds (left a link in the website section, if you missed that post, I’m sure you’d love to read it). It was amazing, so I’m sorry you’ve missed that part of the fair.
    It seems like a fascinating and well made fair. The camps are very interesting to see and it’s great they had a tent open to the public, so they can see how it was really like to camp near the battlefield.

  4. 23 August 2019

    Wow a Medieval Fair sounds like something I would go to! :) It’s so cool that you have festivals like this.

    Archery looks so fun! I’ve never tried it before but it’s really intriguing, especially when you said that it’s easy to learn but difficult to do well. That sounds like a good challenge!