October 16, 2013
Ye Old English Getaway
Imagine this: you’re walking in the middle of a huge opened field. There are no roads or any sight of modern technology; you’re surrounded by trees and dirt paths. You look around and you notice something different about the people standing next you. In fact, they are talking kind of funny! Then it clicks, you are back in time in renaissance England! People are dressed in full on medieval style with breeches and gowns, carrying swords and armor. There are wizards, princesses, kings, knights, horses, and tigers, oh my!
With every turn, there is a new adventure to be held. Laughter can be heard in the air from miles away, while commotion and merriment fill every square inch. Of course, I can’t be talking about none other than the King Richard’s Faire, the closest any of us will ever get to a time machine.
Located in Carver, Massachusetts, King Richard’s Faire is the longest running renaissance fair in New England. Established in 1982, it covers 80 acres of land and has over 10 performance stages. They are open from August 31 until October 20, closing only when there is bad weather. Tickets costs $28 for adults and $16 for children. You can get tickets online but there is a fee of $2 and they also have group discounts if you decide to bring the whole family. Make sure you leave your entire day opened since King Richard’s Faire starts at 11 a.m and has events every half hour until 5:30 p.m! And bring some extra cash to buy food, costume rentals and there is bound to be something that catches your eye at their endless shops filled with not so average items.
One of the amazing things about King Richard’s Faire is the freedom of expression you can have while also stepping into this fantasy world. Everyone is there to experience an entirely different kind of lifestyle and no one will ever be judged. If you want to dress up as a princess, lord, lady or pirate, you can! It’s all about reliving in a time that was filled with mystery, magic and
chivalry. Now if you don’t have your own costume, there is no need to worry. King Richard’s Faire has particular shops designed just so you can rent out their costumes (if you don’t want to buy your own of course). Depending on particular outfits, the prices range from $25 to $60, which are entirely worth it.
Though you might feel before you arrive at King Richard’s Faire, that you don’t want to dress up and you prefer your jeans over any 16th century clothing. But give it an hour or so of walking around and seeing everyone else in costume having fun, you’ll be running to the nearest shop asking them to find something in your size. And that has to do with the atmosphere of King Richard’s Faire. You realize right from the start that want to be a part of this world, straight down to the dress code and old English. Remember the saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”?
Another big part of King Richard’s Faire is their food. If you plan on spending your entire day at the fair, you are bound to get hungry and you have to at least try their very own Turkey leg-don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. But don’t worry for all you vegan and vegetarian eaters out there because King Richard’s Faire has their very own gluten-free, vegetarian and lactose free opinions! You can choose from their Canterbury Kitchen, New Castle Grill, desserts and many different options of beer or wine. Each food and beverage cost 1 ticket, which can be purchased in the stands right near the food court. They come in only bundles of 5, so make sure you and the family are extra hungry!
Because King Richard’s Faire covers up 80 acres of forest land, each corner is filled with marketplaces selling items you’ll never see being sold anywhere else! With over 50 shops lined all the way around the fair, there is bound to be something that catches your interest, so make sure you got some spare cash on you! They have stands for just about anything you can think of,
from wooden bows, walking staffs and birdhouses to face or henna tattoos. Jewelry made from pewter, leather and silver, original artwork, and handmade flutes, leather boots, and stained glass fill the stand and are begging to be looked at and admired. If you ever decided to dress up for King Richard’s Faire and have your own costume, particular stands also sell accessories for any olden person you decide to act like that day.
Nothing says King Richard’s Faire better than entertainment. Right from when they start at 11a.m, there will be at least 4 different shows split between their ten stages. Right when you enter King Richard’s Faire, you will be given a list of each entertainment shows that are held every half an hour and a map of the area, showing you exactly where every stage is located. And believe me, their performances are so great, you are going to wish you could have the chance so see all of them! One of my personal favorites are the Washing Well Wenches and The Mud Show (just to name a few!). Both are very interactive, like most of the shows, and are equally hilarious. I will say now, certain shows will make you cringe but it all caters to the hilarity. The performers, though done up in perfect 16th century wear, are friendly, vibrant and talented, all mixed up together in a side-splitting show you will never forget! But don’t forget, that the end of each show every actor will ask for tips to fund their performances. So if you want them to continue on with their talents, make sure you give a good tip!
King Richard’s Faire also has ongoing performances through the 7 hours of it being opened, which is why it is so important to stay to the end. One of their biggest on going performances is the tale of the tiger, where audience members get a close up of the exotic felines, of all colors and sizes! They also have their main attraction, the incredibly rare Liger. Yes, you heard right, a Liger
which is a cross between a lion and a tiger. This gorgeous cat weight close to 900 pounds and is over 12 feet tall. His name is Hercules and he is 8 years old and definitely a sight to be held. Another on going event that is filled with action, is King Richard’s Faire very own jousting tournament. Each side of the field is assigned a knight and you only know who the winner will be at 5:00 p.m when they have their last battle called “Joust to the Death!”. It is a performance that will keep you and the kids on your feet and cheering your presented knight, just like they did in the 16th century.
King Richard’s Faire also has special events every weekend. Some are on going like their cleavage contest or beard and mustache contest but this year they introduced a new special event based on the popular T.V show, Game of Thrones, where you dress up like your favorite character and whoever had the best costume wins. My very own sister participated in the event as Daenerys Targaryen, but lost to an amazing actor who dressed up as Tyrion Lannister. Definitely a wonderful defeat filled with laughter and praise.
When you see so many people come together for something as fun and favored as Game of Thrones, you can see the connection people have with one another. And that is exactly what King Richard’s Faire does. They bring together people from all walks of life who share a common interest and allow them to participate in this wonderful fantasy world. Definitely something everyone should experience at least once in their life!
That about wraps up my take on the King Richard’s Faire. It is an amazing event filled with adventure that will hold great laughter and memories with you and your family. So come to King Richard’s Faire and express your inner nerd and don’t forget to stop by the New Bedford Travel Guide about any other future events!
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