Not since 2019 has the clash of swords and the cheers and jeers of the populace rung through the village of Newbridge.
(min cost $8)
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The countdown has begun for the eagerly anticipated Newbridge Winter Solstice Festival, set to take place from noon this Saturday, June 24.
The festival offers a day filled with medieval fun, pagan revelry, and a chance to embrace one's inner Viking, witch or wizard, damsel or knight, or for the more egalitarian, a commoner.
The festival, known for its unique blend of historical themes and nerdy enthusiasm, officially ends at 7pm, but if history is a guide it will continue late into the night.
Throughout the day, visitors can explore the vibrant marketplace, which boasts an impressive array of 48 stalls.
From handcrafted goods and delicious food to unique artwork and trinkets, the market is sure to captivate the soul and fill the tummies of those attending.
Secretary Jacquie McAllum said that the committee has been surprised at the amount of attention that the event has created.
"There has been a lot of enquiries regarding camping at the showgrounds and other accommodation and we think that this year will be huge," she said.
At the heart of the festivities lies the traditional bonfire, located on the Gladstone green just outside the hotel.
As dusk falls and the stars twinkle above, festival-goers will have the chance to cast away their troubles and start anew by inscribing their pledges onto small pieces of paper attached to wicker men.
These effigies are then joyfully tossed into the roaring flames, symbolically cleansing the energy and heralding the gradual lengthening of days towards spring.
Beyond the bonfire ritual, the Newbridge Winter Solstice Festival boasts an array of attractions to delight attendees of all ages.
Sword fights will entertain onlookers with displays of chivalry and skill, while dancers clad in medieval attire will captivate the audience with their graceful movements.
The Winter Solstice daytime frivolity and entertainment will commence at 12 pm, ensuring that attendees have ample time to explore the various stalls, immerse themselves in historical reenactments, revel in the merriment, or take out an adversary, with wooden swords of course.
Organisers of the Newbridge Winter Solstice Festival encourage everyone to seize the opportunity to celebrate the shortest day of the year in style.
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