MCDADE — Journey back to medieval times and be entertained by jousting demonstrations, court jesters, falconers, storytellers, magicians, sword fighters and more, including 20 live bands at the 12th annual Sherwood Forest Faire in McDade, 35 miles east of Austin.

Scheduled this year on weekends from April 3 to May 23, and Friday, April 23, the event is open from 10 a.m. to dusk, rain or shine. Pets are not allowed.

Join the crowds strolling through this 25-acre medieval-style village in the Lost Pines section of central Texas as Robin Hood and Lady Marian host full-contact jousting, falconry, sword play, archery, juggling, comedy and theater, along with such things as glass-blowing demonstrations, blacksmithing, pottery spinning, leather armor making, weaving and jewelry.

Other events include Robin’s feast, beer and wine tasting, a pub crawl, falconer’s feast, hawk walk, forest quest, live-action role play and a journey with Drdwg: the Daydream King.

Along with camping accommodations, the Faire offers a chance to spend the night in a castle.

Nottingham Castle is a venue for weddings, parties and other events, and it also features a number of luxurious furnished bedrooms designed to make guests feel like royalty.

Protective face coverings are required at all times in all areas of the property, unless visitors are seated or standing still with household members and socially distanced (6 feet) from anyone not living in the same household. These COVID-19 safety protocols apply to anyone age 3 and over.

While the entertainment lineup is plentiful, so is the festival’s legendary food and drink offerings. Suffice it to say there are far too many choices to list here, but officials advise bringing a hearty appetite.

Some of the available treats include:

Turkey legs, sausage, Cornish hen, burgers, cupcakes, brownies, cookies, quiche, kolaches, boar on a bun, bull on a bun, cat in a bag, fried pickles, wood-fired brick oven pizza, meatball sandwich, lasagna, cheese curds, beer-battered fish and chips, egg rolls, funnel cakes, cannolis, meat pie, fried mushrooms, bloomin’ onion, bourbon chicken, fried mushrooms, steak on a stick … the menu items go on and on.

For those unable to attend in person, a free Virtual Faire is to be broadcast each Saturday on YouTube. As a reward for tuning in, viewers will be offered feasts, special performances and personal lessons.

To find out more about the Faire, a schedule of events and ticket information, go to: www.sherwoodforestfaire.com.

Meanwhile, back home in the Killeen-Fort Hood area, Belton Lake Outdoor and Recreation Center (BLORA), at the intersection of North Nolan Road and Cottage Road, offers a number of fun-filled family activities, including such things as camping sites, picnic pavilions, hiking, sightseeing, bird watching, hunting, fishing, mountain biking, paintball, a 53-foot outdoor climbing wall and an archery range. Admission for military patrons is $3 per car; all others are $10 per vehicle.

The Recreation Equipment Checkout Center, located within the garrison 14 miles southwest of BLORA, is available to authorized Family and MWR patrons, and offers such equipment rentals as kayaks, canoes, wakeboards, skis, knee boards, tubes, camping equipment, pop-ups/travel trailers, accessories and more. Go to hood.armymwr.com for more information.

Fort Hood’s Apache Arts and Crafts Center is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday for those interested in do-it-yourself projects, including picture frames, ceramics,and ceramics birthday parties for kids. Also offered at the center, 761st Tank Battalion and 62nd Street, Building 2337, is screen-printing, embroidery and a wood shop.

The center has a Resiliency through Art program that offers a quiet area with art materials for soldiers to create “whatever comes to mind.” It is available free of charge to all active-duty soldiers during the week until 5 p.m. Soldiers may take their work with them, or leave it at the center to be displayed for others to see. For more information, contact MWR.

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