If you have always wanted to say, “Have fun storming the castle!” Then you need to head to All’s Faire happening June 22-23 at the Thurston County Fairgrounds in Lacey. This free annual medieval/fantasy event is unique in that it allows the public attendees to join in on the fun, including the war! Partake in dancing, eat delicious food, listen to music, shop, let your kid explore the kids’ carnival, and compete in archery or join the battle – it’s all waiting for you.
Join the War
At All’s Faire, your family can come and be a part of the war – three factions are competing for dominance over the land. Watch the Iron Dragon Trading Company pirates assail the Nordic Strong Men with cannons. Bowmen will rain arrows. But why just watch when you can join a side and help conquer? You do not have to have a costume, or even a weapon. “We use padded weapons,” explains Jeff Stewart, one of the volunteers that puts on All’s Faire. “It is our goal to have an inclusive game that people can jump into right away. There is no cost to play in the wars and most of the tournaments, and we provide the equipment or they can bring gear from home if it meets the safety requirements of the popular clubs in the area. All gear will be checked before it’s allowed in play.” If you have your own weaponry, feel free to bring, just make sure it follows the rules.
This is a “the family that wars together stays together” type event, so bring the whole family for two days of fantasy faire fun. The large war is open to anyone 14-years-old and over. If minors are playing, parents are required to be present or even better, be engaged in battle as well. “We are trying to encourage families playing together,” says Jeff. He adds that most of the players tend to be between 20- and 45-years-old, but to remember that age is just a number. “We had a pair of nine-year-old girls a few years ago,” he shares, “they owned the war field with their speed and endurance.”
During the war, three factions are competing for dominance over the area. “During the event there will be a war on both Saturday and Sunday, the war will be made up of several battles from field battles, bridge battles, and castle battles,” Jeff explains. “The other games and activities can earn their faction ‘Life tokens’ that represent reinforcements so people not fighting in the war can affect its outcome.”
Not athletic? Don’t worry! There is a spot in the battle for all types, regardless of athletic ability, from archer positions up in the towers to combat roles on the battlefield. And, if you are still thinking you’d rather watch this live action version of your favorite fantasy film come to life, the three-story castles and battlefield are designed in such a way that it’s easy to watch. And you can walk around the battlefield to get a feel for the game first. “We have training camps set up around the battlefield for the different factions, so people can try it out and get some instruction and training before committing to the war,” Jeff explains.
Before and After the War Entertainment
While there were certainly a lot of battles in medieval times (and in pretty much every good fantasy novel or movie), don’t forget all the fun entertainment that happens before and after each battle! All’s Faire will have live music with several bands and dance troupes for you to enjoy. You can eat your fill on wonderful faire fare. If you want more weaponry, there is archery and ax throwing as well.
If you are in need of some rest, why not sit down in the full gaming hall and take part in some tabletop games? Fantasy-themed of course!
And for the kids, head to the kids’ carnival area that is full of kids’ games, bouncy houses, jugglers and stage acts. There is a Tea Party your child can take part in and a game with the Roman Legion where kids get to throw tennis balls at their formation to see if they can hit a soldier!
Always thought you were more of the Robin Hood type than a knight? Test your prowess at the Battle of the Bows! This free competition is similar to paintball, but you’re using padded arrow tips and a bow instead of a paint gun. Teams are created and all kinds of games are played, including capture the flag and deathmatch. Battle of the Bows is open to anyone 14-years-old and up. And once again, All’s Faire’s lovely volunteers will be providing all the equipment and the games for free.
There is so much fun to be had at All’s Faire, you are going to want to attend both days! And in that case, why not camp at All’s Faire and immerse yourself in a weekend full of medieval/fantasy fun? Camping is just $25 and gets you a whole extra day at the faire (Friday), plus all the extra fun that happens after the public leaves at 6:00 p.m. There is a 21-years-old and older camping area for the “late-night party people” as Jeff puts it, and a general camping area. “Each faction also has camping for people that want to immerse themselves in the game around the clock,” he adds. Campers get to participate in late night camping, torchlight tournaments and even have a movie night for the kids.
Pack back your broadsword, bow or shield and head to All’s Faire at the Thurston County Fairgrounds June 22-23, 2019. Admission is free, parking is $10. All’s Faire is open from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Visit the All’s Faire website for more information.
All’s Faire at the Thurston County Fairgrounds
3054 Carpenter Rd SE, Lacey