Just jousting

Fairplay Days set for this weekend

Fairplay Days set for this weekend

August 15, 2002

Old Tilghmanton Tournament Grounds will once again resound with "Charge, Sir Knight, charge" as the District 12 Ruritan Club hosts the annual Fairplay Days Festival Saturday, Aug. 17, and Sunday, Aug. 18.

Located five miles south of Interstate 70 on Md. 65, Sharpsburg Pike, then east one-quarter mile on Manor Church Road, the woods of the old tournament grounds provides a shady backdrop for Washington County's oldest jousting tournament.

The tournament will begin at noon each day with the five classes of competition. Bring a lawn chair, the kids and your appetite to enjoy chicken barbecue, country ham, homemade soups, baked goods, hotdogs, hand-cut French fries, ice cream, and more.

Stroll through the tents of craft vendors offering their wares. Sunday morning the neighboring church begins the day with an open-air church service.


Originally a way of waging war among medieval knights, jousting has evolved into a contest of skill using lance, horse and small rings. The equestrian sport of ring jousting as ridden today dates back to the mid-1800s predominantly in Virginia, Maryland and later West Virginia.

The Old Tilghmanton tournament grounds was the scene of numerous tournaments both before and after the Civil War. Sometime in the 1940s the District 12 Ruritan Club revived the jousting tournaments at the woods.

The jousting tournament of today combines history, tradition and horsemanship. Riders still use titles and they still ride for the honor of crowning their special someone. Unlike tournaments of 100 years ago, today jousting competitions attract horse enthusiasts of all types. Jousting events are now divided into four classes based on skill level alone regardless of gender or age. Riders as young as 5 and as old as 75 years of age all enjoy jousting tournaments.

If you go

Fairplay Days

Saturday, Aug. 17, and Sunday, Aug. 18

Old Tilghmanton Tournament Grounds on Manor Church Road

1/4 mile east of Md. 65 (Sharpsburg Pike)

Opens at noon

Food and beverages on sale by District 12 Ruritan

Admission and parking are free.

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