King Richard's Faire
For me there is nothing quite like a Renaissance Festival. They are simply wonderful. If it is done well you truly feel like you have stepped back in time to another century. I just came back from King Richard's Faire which is one of the best festivals there is. It might also be the first. I have been going to it for many years now and it just keeps getting better and better.
What it's all about? If you have never been to a renaissance festival I will tell you a little bit about it.
It is all about those things we love about the middle ages. Knights, jousting, armor, swords, crafts, the clothing, the tudor style houses and the food. And there is usually specific attention paid to the entertainment which will of course have a very medieval flair and usually will be a bit ribald and bawdy!
The Centerpiece of the Faire is of course the horsemanship. The Faire has a series of shows throughout the day. Three times a day every couple of hours and the show is a continuation. In the first show we get introductions and some nice horsemanship with lances and a story of knights will unfold.
It is a tournament for the day and as the day progresses toward the end we will find out who wins the competition and is given the award of kings champion.
And the proceedings are watched over by the king himself.
But this isn't the only thing that is going on in the faire. There are lots of other shows taking place at all different times. You can walk around the fair grounds and just stop in for whatever show just happens to be starting.
Some of these include animal shows like a giant white tiger, shows with owls and hawks, shows with jugglers, fire breathers, wenches, singing shows, comedy shows and well a whole lot of stuff.
The Fun of just walking around
And another great thing about this kind of faire is that there is unexpected stuff going on all the time. At one point I spotted a Black Plague cart with doctor treating a patient. It was pretty neat and very authentic looking. There are plenty of impromptu street performances going on all the time ranging from jugglers to people on stilts, mandolin players, zither players, musicians, minstrels, and singers of all types and sometimes little acting performances will break out when least expected.
The Plague Doctor and victim.
The Artisans, Crafts and Shops
The various shops are one of the great things about the Faire. There are lots of shops with a very medieval and celtic selection of wares ranging from jewelry to hand made leather journals (I bought one of these) to swords, beautiful walking staffs, clothing, tee shirts, candles, apothecary, incense, glass blowing and much more. Just about everything you would expect at a medieval faire and even more.
At this faire there are two blacksmiths and three sword shops where you can buy a wide range of bladed weapons from small bodice daggers to very large two handed swords and they are all hand made. The blacksmiths are engaged in making items while you watch.
That is one of the nice things about the faire, it is very interactive and hands on. Of course the swords can only be handled by people over the age of 18. But other than the occasional innuendo at a show the faire is very child friendly. There are lots of things for the kids to do like ride on the various rides including a human powered ferris wheel which is really something.
All in All it is just a wonderful way to spend the day. I highly recommend it. If you are in New England here are some specifics about this particular faire: