Great Lakes Medieval Faire
an informal tour

So you are thinking about coming to our wonderful shire.
This will be your first trip and you want to learn your way around a little.
There is this map in the program.

But at first look, it almost confuses you more than you already are.
Well, that is where this page comes in.
I am going to try and walk you around the shire to help you get your bearings.
Now, this page is going to be intentionally vague on a few things. Like stage names and vendor locations. These things change from season to season, and I know I won't get around to updating this page. So it is better if I don't get too specific and just leave those things out.

Let's start at the begining.

You come in the main gate and up the road to the feast hall.
On the map this looks kind of long, but in reality, it's only about 30-40 feet.
Across from the feast hall, is the Maypole.
Just past the feast hall, there is a Y in the road.
On the map it looks like you have 3 choices. Actually only have 2.
The one that looks like it runs behind the feast hall is actually an access road for staff and isn't really for patrons.
The branch on the right is a shortcut up to another area of the shire, it is wooded, but empty. Good if you know where you are going or if you want to explore, but otherwise not very interesting.
The main road is the one marked in red on my little map.
It is straight and fairly long. It has a few vendors along it, and a stage towrads the end on the left.
When you get to the end of that straight run, you come to your first real choice.
You will know this spot by the fact that first, you start to enter the trees.
You come to the pond at Griffin's costume rental.
And there is a whole lot more to look at.

You can go left, right, or straight ahead.
For this tour, we are going to go to the left.
Into the "Old World section". So called because it is the original grounds of the faire.
Before it expanded and added the "New World section".
The notable difference between the areas, is that things are packed a little closer in the old world.
And almost everything is located inside actual buildings.

On the map, you can see I am leading you down the second road to the left, not the first one.
The reason for that is because the first one is a little narrower and not as well traveled, and I figured as a first time visitor, you are going to stick with the main road. That will go past the souvenir booth.
Then you will come down to the Phoneix Place food court. Also called the Stumble Inn food court.
Because it is across from the Stumble Inn stage, and pub.

Continuing around the outer edge in our clockwork pattern.
You will go past the elephant ride on the right, and another stage on your left.
Then you come to Frier Plucks. Some of the best food in the shire!
Which also happens to be just before the joust field.
Ignore that road on the map leading back to the parking lot. That is yet another staff access road and isn't open to patrons.

Continuing on the path (and not heading straight to the joust field)
you will pass the story telling tree on your right, and another stage on your left.
There is also another pub there. This one being the Stagger Inn. It's kind of small compared to the other 2, but it is just as refreshing :-)
You come to another fork in the road.
To the left is a dead end, though the archery range is down there.
We will go to the right though.

On to the mud pit.
This is another one of those cases where the map is missleading.
It looks like there is a bit of a distance to go from that Y. Actually it is maybe 40-50' to the bridge leading to the seating area for the mud pit.

Past the mud pit you go by a whole bunch of vendors.
Then there is the Maze on your left. And just beyond that is one of the main stages of the fiare.
And if you notice, you are almost at the same spot that you started this whole tour of the old world.

Now we begin our trek through the new world.
I have to mention another vendor here.
Right after you pass the one stage and start back along the way, you will see Piper's Pub on the right.
This is where you can get the reusable bottles of pop. They have root beer, cream ale, orange cream, lemonade, and other choices to choose from. And once you buy the bottle, it is only $1 to refill.
Anyway, back down the path.
You will pass several vendors. And on the right you will see the fencing area.
Then right after that, on the left will be another stage.

Continuing on, you will go past some astrological tents and other vendors.
Eventually you will come to Fairyland, and the fairy stage on the left.
Great place for the kids to have fun.

Ok, here is another one of those goofy perspective things on the map.
It looks like a good distance from fairyland to the path leading to the glassblowers. In truth, it is only a few feet.
Anyway. When you get to the intersection. You can go left to the glassblowers stage.
We will continue on our path ahead of us though.

This will lead us to the Washing Well Wench stage.
This one is pretty specific, as it is set up to hold their wash basin and such. So I don't see it changing in the near future.
You can go to the left, to go to the chessboard stage (another one that won't be changing)
If you do, ignore those other paths that show on the map in that area. Again, staff access stuff.

We are going to the right.
More vendors.
The intersection shown on the map, isn't there anymore.
It was closed a few years ago when they put Gypsy Camp there.
This year it will still be a camp, just not a gypsy camp.

Moving on, we come to another stage on the left.
To the rightt is another road that leads over to the glassblowers stage. Not as long as it looks on the map either.

Another intersection.
Remember, way back at the begining of this. That path by the feast hall that I said was a shortcut?
Well, this is where it comes out at.

Continuing on the trail we come to the Drift Inn area.
Now I really have to do some explaining here, as the map is really horrible here.

First of all. Those 2 roads in the bottom left corner. They aren't really roads.
That whole area between them is graveled and is a huge lane.
The reason is because what would be under that (on the map) is the food booths. There is plenty of room for food lines and still being able to walk through there.
Next, that intersection in the middle isn't really like that.
The road leading to the glassblowers is actually offset from it a few feet (while the other one called Laura Lane doesn't even exist anymore)
Also, at that intersection is the Drift Inn Pub and stage.
Note the locations where I typed them. The stage is no where near as far back as it appears on that map. Behind it is sandboxes and such for a childrens play area.

Ok. As we move past the Drift Inn area we end up right back where we came into the shire proper.
Now you should have a general idea where things are.
Now you can go explore all the paths that run though the middle and interconnect things.

IF it helps. Thing of the path as a big figure eight.
You have the old world as one loop, and the new world as another.
Each has a food court / pub / stage in the middle.
With the town square being at the juncture of the loops.
The joust, and the chessboard are at the far edges of the shire. (both of which also happen to have a whole lot of sun on their seating areas BTW)