The 2021 Norman Medieval Fair – a “spectacular take-out and online extravaganza,” according to a press release – will combine a range of in-person dining options at Reaves Park with performers broadcast live on Facebook and vendors selling their wares on the Site of the Medieval Fair April 9-11.
The Norman Medieval Fair canceled its 2020 event due to COVID-19 just days ahead of its scheduled date following the university’s announcement of the campus closure, said Ann Marie Eckart, coordinator of the Medieval Fair.
“Making this decision felt like someone was pulling my guts out,” Eckart said. “People work all year round to make the fair take place.
After canceling the event, the Norman Medieval Fair team began preparing for 2021. Over the past three months, plans for this year’s fair have solidified, Eckart said.
“COVID has slowed everything in the world,” Eckart said. “(The planning) went pretty well, but there was a lot of debate about what was safe.”
Eventually, the Norman Medieval Fair team decided that all of the fair’s programming, other than food, would be provided in an online format.
“There is absolutely no reasonable way to make (food) online,” Eckart said.
While some regulations As the in-person food sale is on hold due to the recent change in social distancing regulations from six feet to three feet away, masks will be required and provided at the event, Eckart said. Marks will also be drawn on the ground to ensure social distancing in the queues.
“Be prepared to be patient,” Eckart said. “The lines will be long, but that’s to ensure everyone’s safety. “
As for the online part of the show, videos of sellers presenting their skills and products will be posted on the Site of the Medieval Fair. Vendors range from classic leather goods to designers of stuffed plague rats. Live performances by artists from across the country will be broadcast at varying times on the Facebook page of the Medieval Fair also.
“These artists typically travel hundreds of kilometers to get here,” Eckart said. “This year they don’t have to. It’s awesome.
Eckart said there would also be links on the website to educational pages on the concept of the medieval fair and medieval history.
“There might even be a taste on Thursday, so keep an eye out for that,” Eckart said.
While the event will feature many of the same artists and sellers from previous years, there is still a lot of new things to be excited about, Eckart said.
“I hope that next year we can continue to broadcast parts of the fair live,” Eckart said. “There are people who had to walk away from Norman for various reasons, but with the live broadcast they will still have access. This is their definition of community.
The fair, which was in Norman since the 1970s, will ideally bring a sense of community to the campus, explained Eckart.
“I look forward to this little spark of hope that we are almost back to normal,” Eckart said.
The fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday April 9 and 10 and from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday April 11 at Reaves Park and in line.
This story has been corrected at 3:46 p.m. to reflect the correct date of the Norman Medieval Fair.