CHESTERTON | Knights in armor battled with wooden sticks as swords, clashing in the hot sun Saturday during the Medieval Market & Faire in Thomas Centennial Park, hosted by the Westchester Public Library.
The event, held in conjunction with Chesterton's European Market, was a way to bring fun activities to families and enhance the library's summer reading theme of Dragon Days. Mason Castro, 5, of Chesterton, said the events were winning him over.
"I like it. I like the sword fighting," Mason said of the battles performed by members of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Jonathan Burnham, of Merrillville, a member of the society, said he enjoys demonstrating the battle skills of his squire rank, honoring his loyalty to the fictional Sir Ivar.
"It's a full-contact sport," Burnham told the crowd as they watched the wooden sticks crash into steel helmets and face guards.
Merribeth Paunicka, manager of the children's department at the library, said the event, which drew hundreds of visitors, was a huge success.
"We do something each year for the summer reading program and we thought a Medieval faire would be perfect because of our book program theme. The Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce approved and many community members helped out," Paunicka said.
Chris Acton, of Chesterton, used the event Saturday as a way to educate kids and adults about the age-old craft of weaving, which she does as a trade using a table loom.
"I threaded this loom yesterday and it took me about three hours to set it up," said Acton, who said she has a bigger loom at her home.
For others such as Deb Moulton, who performed in costume with children for the library's dragon puppet show performances, Saturday was all about making people laugh.
"Come here and give me a kiss," Moulton's dragon puppet said before roaring and snapping the fairegoers who were brave enough to heed its call.
"Never trust a dragon, that's the moral of the story," she said.