EVERY two years -- or about the time the monstrous knight The Mountain seems to show up in an episode of Game of Thrones -- Cooks Creek becomes the medieval capital of Manitoba.
The community's Medieval Festival returns on Saturday, July 26, to the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception and grotto, bringing with it a full-contact jousting event that has attracted modern-day knights in shining armour from as far away as Denmark and Australia.
"It's actually quite amazing to watch," says Darcia Senft, one of the festival's organizers, who compared the event to scenes from the Sean Connery 1995 film First Knight or the 2001 film A Knight's Tale starring Heath Ledger.
"When you see something like that in a movie, it's one thing, to see people in real life in a full suit of armour... it's certainly (a sport) not for the faint of heart."
The festival begins at noon, and besides the jousting, there will be a competition of heavy combat in armour, archery, a merchant marketplace, a live chess tournament, plus a medieval petting zoo and games for kids.
Full passes, which include the evening banquet, are sold out, according to the event's website, but day passes, which sell for $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12, are still available at www.immaculate.ca or at the festival entrance.
The event is a fundraiser for the church and grotto, which is a provincial heritage site and is on the register for Canada's Historic Places.
"It's a spectacular backdrop for this type of an event," Senft said.