Thousands of medieval re-enactors are descending upon King's Arrow Ranch in Hillsdale for the 23rd Annual Gulf Wars. The week long event celebrates all aspects Middle Ages from sword play, arts, crafts, food and all out war between kingdoms.
Tuesday morning heralded the opening ceremonies of Gulf Wars. And 20-year veteran of the gulf wars, Master Morgan of Osprey with the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., said Tuesday the wars become a way of life.
"When I was invited to my first event, this was unknown to me. I really had no specific interest in the Middle Ages and I was drawn in drawn in. I've been stuck ever since."
Over the next few days thousands will gather from all over the globe. Master Morgan said, "We expect approximately 4,000. We get anywhere from 3,500 to 4,000 from all over the world."
Participants travel in to represent their various kingdoms by geographic location, and turn the ranch into a medieval village.
Along with hundreds of classes specific to the culture of the middle ages, there are black smith's, period carpenters, amourers, practice arena, artisans ranging the gamut from clothing, to bakeries, and boot makers, and many more period crafts.
But Master Morgan said that's not all, "We like to focus on those more valorous aspects of the Middle Ages such as the equestrian activities, the horse activities, the fighting."
And of course the art of war and its implements. Miklos from Tallahassee, Florida, showed of his siege engine, "This is actually a trebuchet most people will call it a catapult."
Toward the end of the week the major battles will begin. Through the week kingdoms find allies and strategically plan the battles.
Miklos said, "Like all the other activities in society we are governed by rules like any organized sport would be."
They consider it a war with out enemies. Authentic period weapons range from archers, rapiers, battle-axes, and all manner of siege weapons. And yes, they really hit each other. However, the weapons are retrofitted so no one loses an eye, or limb.