“Hoggetowne Goes Downtown” turns municipal park into medieval showcase

Published on January 31, 2024


Depot Park became the site of medieval merriment this month as an estimated 28,000 attendees enjoyed old-world games and shopped for wares at the City of Gainesville’s 37th Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire.

Behind the scenes, the City’s popular annual event was made possible with the help of 125 costumed performers, 50 merchants, 36 volunteers and numerous City staff members.

“I always love the people of the Faire,” said Jordan Borstelmann of Crooked Path Forge. “Whether it's the patrons purchasing my wares, or it's the other staff and volunteers, no matter the hardships everyone has such a smile on their faces. We can be standing in 3 feet of mud, brushing ice from our anvils, or standing in the rain, the passion people have for continuing the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire is what sustains it,” he said.

“Hoggetowne Goes Downtown” became the theme of this year’s celebration at the municipal park when plans for a larger, private venue unexpectedly fell through. Pared down from the traditional three consecutive weekends to a single one, City staff secured shuttles and trams to and from downtown parking garages to help manage traffic congestion and limited on-site parking.

“Our staff is resilient and resourceful, and I commend each and every one of them for putting together a magnificent and memorable weekend for our community,” said Gainesville Mayor Harvey Ward. “I know they’re already looking at sites for next year but people will remember Hoggetowne Goes Downtown for years to come,” he said.

Offering a variety of cultural venues, programs and events serving the needs of all, provided by the public sector, private sector and community nonprofit organizations is a key element of the City’s strategic plan.