There are many craftsmen in town for the festival to enjoy watching and also to purchase the fruits of their labours. This fellow is concentrating quite hard it seems as he chisels away. There was also a potter making things on his wheel nearby amongst others.
After the opening ceremonies there is a competition/exhibition by the knights. They perform various demonstrations of skills varying from using lances to take rings from a stand, throwing spears (as shown), and picking up swords from the ground and then using them to cup heads of lettuce placed on a fence. All in all they were very impresive with their skills and their costumes were great for themselves and the horses. A must see part of the festival.
Whether you want to make your own costume for the festival or not you can still get dressed up for the occasion as there is a shop near the money exchange that rents out costumes for the festivities. 35E for a fully man's outfit of your choice and 50E for a woman were what I believe the prices were. So many people are dressed up, from the little kids on up, that one can help but want to join in. For sure next year if we go...
More on this character in the cage later.
Saturday afternoon the festivities are kicked off with a parade that starts in the city centre and thru town under the bridge to the main arena (shown on my main page). Hundreds people are decked out in medieval costumes for the parade which includes horsemen, maidens, prisoners, knights, drummers and bagpipe players.
Each year the festival holds a painting contest with various age divisions. You will find many painters such as this one in various parts of the town capturing part of the festival on canvas. The artists are very good and it is fun to watch their work develop over the day as you pass by many times (going back to the food stands...)
This bridge is the main historical point of the town. It was constructed in the 14th century for the pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago to cross the river. In this photo and throughout the festival many pilgrims passed by on their way to Santiago de Compostella.