Utah Winter Faire draws diverse, unique crowd to Farmington

Saturday , December 03, 2016 - 5:00 AM

JANAE FRANCIS, Standard-Examiner Staff

FARMINGTON — If a Renaissance fair in the winter sounds fun to you, the Utah Winter Faire in the outbuildings at the Legacy Events Center is the place for you.

The fair offers adventure for lighthearted fairy followers to those who enjoy vigorous sword fighting.

Dozens of actors in costumes ranging from a satyr who speaks gibberish, to Doctor Who from the British science-fiction television program, and Renaissance-style sentinels of a winter queen roam the three buildings that make up the fair.

The Armored Combat League, which sanctions sword fights between competitors wearing knight-style armor, held individual fights Friday, Dec. 2, and is holding team battles Saturday, Dec. 3.

“This is a fun, friendly place,” said Bambi Dalton of Draper. She was one guest on Friday who said the $10 discount entry fee she paid was definitely worth it.

A full-time member of the Army, Dalton said the fair offers her a chance to have some fun.

“You actually get to know people one-on-one,” she said of the event, which drew a far less jam-packed crowd than some other popular cosplay events in Utah.

Dalton came dressed as Mother Gothel from Disney’s “Tangled.” She had a Rapunzel doll in her belt.

“It’s my third year of being here,” Dalton said. “I like anything nerdy.”

Clinton resident Whitney Johnson plays a “dandy highwayman,” accompanied by her black horse, Judgment.

Johnson said 8-year-old Judgment is a therapy horse who helps her with her autism. He has learned to help other people who need equine therapy, too.

“He is my best friend,” Johnson said. She has trained him to rear on command and to do a “Spanish walk” — and to give horse “smooches” to children.

Roy resident Katie Arteaga plays the part of Spice Cane, a steampunk elf to a steampunk Santa Claus.

In her role as the twin sister to Sugar, Spice tells visitors the story of how she is the evil elf.

“I sneak a broken toy once in a while into Santa’s bag,” she says. “I’m the black sheep of the family.”

Logan resident Cassidy Palza plays a saytr to the winter queen.

Palza said the nonsensical, high-pitched language she uses for her character is her own made-up series of tones.

“The people pretend they understand me,” she said, breaking character. “It’s really kind of cute.”

Palza said she enjoys entertaining the children. “If they are in a bad mood, I make them happy again,” she said.

The fair offers three different quests for younger children, older children and adults.

Yazmine Tatiana, of Salt Lake City, who plays the icy Queen Nymora, said the children’s scavenger hunt quest ends with finishers ridding her of an ailment she is suffering this year, caused by a shard of ice in her heart that causes her to be cold, cruel and weak.

The Baird family of Ogden was drawn to the event because home-school students got in free on Friday.

For 13-year-old Elijah Baird, the armored combat fighting ring was the place to be.

“The whole time we’ve been walking around buying trinkets and things, he’s been here,” said his mother, Jenifer Baird, a couple hours after the family arrived.

For Rae Anne Baird, 12, the crafts and the atmosphere were the draw.

“There’s a whole bunch of different stuff and styles,” Rae Anne said. “We’ve seen steampunk, fairy stuff. I even saw a Jedi, and the cosplay is really cool.”

The fair continuesnoon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 4.

Camille Tanner, of Sunset, said she also has come to the event three of the four years it’s been held. She went Friday dressed as a winter elf.

“This is good for Christmas shopping for all my nerdy friends,” she said.

Tanner said Renaissance fairs are usually in summer, so the idea of Renaissance in the winter appeals to her.

The Legacy Center is located at 151 S 1100 West in Farmington. Tickets are $12 at the door. According to the event website, those in costume receive $2 off, or bringing a new, unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots Drive earns $2 off.

You may reach reporter JaNae Francis at 801-625-4228. Follow her on Twitter at @JaNaeFrancisSE or like her on Facebook.

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