My wife and I love renaissance faires. We go to two or three every year, and we’re all geeky about it. We dress up in (more or less) period appropriate clothes, drink mead, eat turkey legs (calling it ‘goose’ of course, since medieval Europe didn’t have turkeys), and utter the occasional ‘Huzzah!’ at shows.
We were happy to learn that this year, there was a faire being held right here in the Capital Region of New York, the Capital District Renaissance Festival. It was their first year ever, and we just had to go check it out. We gave it a solid ‘B’, which for a first year event is pretty amazing!
It was, by modern ren-faire standards, tiny! Normally, the biggest planning part for a faire is whether your feet are properly prepared for walking ten miles before you start your day. Here, we were able to amble from one side of the faire to the other with a stroller in less than five minutes. However, this was actually a good thing. The whole affair had a certain intimacy to it. By the end of the day, the performers (both stage and wandering, a solid point!) and faire-goers were all familiar to each other, and the vendors took time to strike up conversations with passers-by.
The joust was well done (although it could have used some electronic amplification), and there were some great performers. There were also some this-might-just-be-the-first-time-I’ve-ever-been-on-stage performers (looking at you, ‘fire-manipulator’ dude), but they were adorable, rather than bad. The food tent was a little over-priced, but considering we got a whole day of baby-friendly entertainment for $10 per person, it seemed like a fair trade-off.
All in all, we had a good time. It was close, inexpensive, and fun, and a perfect first time at the faire for our infant son Dashiell, who may have been less than impressed with the shows, but was fascinated by all the shiny stuff!
It was well attended, which we hope means it will come again next year, and we intend to promote it tirelessly next year so it grows and improves!