The Orange Showground will be transformed into a medieval village complete with Viking battles, a giant catapult and birds of prey displays when the city hosts the inaugural Orange Medieval Faire in March.
Organisers have confirmed the two-day festival - the biggest sporting and cultural event of its kind - will go ahead on March 19 to 20 next year, after the state government approved a $200,000 grant to help deliver it in Orange.
A jousting championship featuring the reigning world jousting champion Philip Leitch, who lives in a castle in Ballarat, will be one of the highlights of the weekend.
Faire organiser and jousting championship competitor Andrew McKinnon says male and female knights will compete.
Competitors wear real medieval armour and carry 3.6 metres lances of solid pine tipped with a 3-pronged steel spear tip.
On highly trained horses, they gallop toward each other separated by a wooden barrier to protect the horse, and strike their opponent in the space from the bottom of the shield to the top of the helmet. The person who smashes their lance on the opponent is the winner.
Mr McKinnon said while plans to bring international competitors to the championship were cancelled due to travel restrictions, the level of competition would still be world-class.
"Pound for pound we're probably the best jousting nation in the world," he said.
"The jousters that will be there are amongst the best in the world anyway so it's not like there'll be any loss of quality."
The Viking battle in the arena, in which "30 guys or more in armour try to kill each other with axes" will be another drawcard, Mr McKinnon said.
There will be working blacksmiths and a medieval tavern serving a medieval beer brewed by Orange brewers Badlands Brewery.
"There's a cool educational element to the festival as well," Mr McKinnon said.
"One of our bywords is authenticity, so all the groups who come along and display and set up their tents and talk to the public are all really keen on the period they represent. They go down to the molecular level in their research and the stuff they have out on display."
Orange City Council is also sponsoring the festival to the tune of $10,000. Mayor Reg Kidd said attracting the event to Orange was a coup for the city and it was expected to inject about $2 million into the local economy.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
HAVE YOUR SAY
Send a letter to the editor using the form below: