The Medieval Festival in Ribeira Grande on Sao Miguel Island
The Azores are known for their countless celebrations and “Festas” that happen at various times throughout the year on each of the 9 Portuguese islands. On the island of Sao Miguel, which has always been recognized as the Azores’ agricultural capital, in the county of Ribeira Grande here, they take the meaning of celebration to a new level of distinction. One of the oldest settlements in all of the Azores, which was once the home to the original settlers and colonizers in the 15th century. The county has the same name as the city where this annual festival takes place. With increased funding and sponsorship by local businesses, it has become one of the most popular summer festivals here in the Azores. Since the beginning of the 21st century, this innovative festival was introduced in the city of Ribeira Grande and has seen great results in terms of tourism and attendance every year since it began in 2006. The medieval festival in Ribeira Grande is becoming one of the top cultural events to attend in the region during the summer months. The city center and town square are transformed into a renaissance era, where everywhere you look takes you back to the medieval days of the 15th century. The hundreds of elaborately decorated handmade costumes are only one of the fun highlights of this 3-day festival. There are countless small taverns with food and beverages in medieval settings with quaint terraces filled with ancient pottery available for families to enjoy. This is a perfect family event for kids of any age, as there is so much open space that feels like you have been transformed into a medieval movie setting. The government of Ribeira Grande has put a lot of effort and resources over the past decade at perfecting this event, down to every last detail. Here you can admire trapeze artists, jugglers, and court jesters alongside pheasants, rabbits, ducks, turkeys, donkeys, horses, and even peacocks as they adorn the town square. This is a genuinely unique Azorean experience. It is an excellent idea for you and your family to enjoy the music, culture, and beautiful scenery of the region. In 2006 the local government initially invested 250,000 Euros in creating this event from scratch. The over 500 hundred 15th-century costumes, hundreds of medieval props, and decorations were a considerable investment for the county and have proven to be a profitable investment in terms of attendance and revenue for the region. There are lots to explore in the small downtown square with many pathways leading to quiet seating areas in the cities beautifully manicured gardens overlooking the Atlantic. However, no medieval festival would be complete without the traditional ancient duels between knights. Here, the elaborately dressed knights perform a royal show with a medieval-inspired meal provided with your ticket purchase. This is like watching medieval times in all its brilliance while enjoying the chivalry and all the tradition that comes with this event. Every year this has been a full performance, so it is recommended if you plan on attending to make sure you get your tickets at the start of the event and not waiting until just before the nightly show begins. In the evening, the celebration continues with many live bands performing at various locations with carnival games and rides for children to enjoy late into the evening and early morning hours. Event Details: Located in the city of Ribeira Grande in the town square and garden in front of the city hall. The event takes place at the beginning of August which lasts three days. Each day has various different activities. Tickets are available for purchase for the meal and show from CMRG or city hall in the downtown of Ribeira Grande.