Monday, August 8, 2016

Saratoga Springs International Film Festival and the Sterling Renaissance Festival

 On September 17th, will be the Saratoga Springs International Film Festival.  This post I wanted to talk about this upcoming event.

This will be the first year of this film festival, and presented by those in the area that are striving to bring independent films of any style and genre to a diverse audience. It also wants to take the opportunity of the film festival to showcase Saratoga Springs and the surrounding area. The brainchild of this film festival is Caitlin Stedman, herself a local director.

In the next several weeks, I will be posting more information about this film festival; I encourage you to check out their website for more information.

This past weekend I attended the Sterling RenaissanceFestival.   Unlike, many medieval/renaissance faires whose theme spans an entire era of history; this one is designed to be set in one location and time, Warwick, England in 1585.

Additionally, unlike many of the faires I usually attend, this is not a one weekend local event; it spans over the summer (weekends). The Sterling Renaissance Festival is located in Sterling, NY (outside of Oswego, NY), I have written about this location before, so here I go one more time.  Do not confuse Sterling, NY (which has this faire) and Sterling Forrest, Tuxedo Park, NY (which is downstate and has the New York Renaissance Fair).

The faire was originally started in 1976 (making this year the 40th anniversary) by Dennis Ouellette, Sr, and later owned and operated by Gerald and Virginia Young. In 2008 it was purchased by Doug Waterbury, Empire Attractions, this company owns and runs several themed entertainments and events throughout New York.

The prices of tickets are $27.95 Adult and $16.95 for a child. There are additional special tickets you can purchase, such as “The Queen’s Tea” or “Royal Feast”.  You can also make arrangements to have weddings at the faire.

Since this is a commercial endeavor, you will notice the prices of tickets are higher than the community medieval/renaissance faires I usual attend. This cost also is passed through the vendors, who will normally charge more than items than those local faires. This is the nature of the beast for a larger event; the higher prices allow more events, artists and activities to be held at the faire.

As many of you readers will remember, I made my own leather armor. I wore it for the first time at this type of event, and got many compliments. Originally, I had no intention of wearing it, for making it was a research project for my novel.

There were some wonderful artists and vendors at the fair, here are a few:

While at this faire, I did get my picture done at the Enchanted Images. Here, you can wear one of their costumes, and get your picture taken as a souvenir of the fair.
Enchanted Images
My finished armor, photo taken at Enchanted Images

Creations (formely known as Starefire Swords) was a blacksmith I visited during the faire. There is nothing as satisfying to me, seeing someone keeping this art alive. They offer some very detailed swords and daggers.
Blacksmith at his work

One of the attractions was the Dungeon Museum. This attraction included information, and displays of some of the most gruesome devices conceived by humankind.

Dungeon Museum

When you go to the Sterling Renaissance Festival you can enjoy:
A parade, featuring the Queen herself.
Games for the kids
Games of skill
Rides, (all man powered)
and food and drink

Years ago, this was the very first renaissance festival I ever attended. And as it was back then, this time I enjoyed myself very much, and would encourage you to attend. It runs on weekends from early July to mid-August; check out their website for specific dates and also themed weekends.

Next Week: More info on Saratoga Springs International Film Festival, and another medieval faire.

W.A. Rusho is a professional wrestler, historian, and author of the novel “Legend of the Mystic Knights”. The previous publisher of this novel is no longer in business, and so he is actively seeking a literary agent or publisher. If you wish to contact him, email him, or visit his website.


  1. I'm very impressed with your armor, William. There's a lot of work involved in any leather creation, but you took it to a whole different level.
    Just back from a weekend in the Finger Lakes area (again) so probably won't get back there for any of the fairs, but your descriptions make them sound like grand fun. Love the "rat splat" sign!

  2. What a great festival. It looks like you had a great time. I don't think I ever saw a blacksmith at work. I would want to check that out. I think my son and husband would love that too. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  3. Sterling Renaissance Festival looks like a great festival. And I am very impressed with your armor. I can't imagine the work which must have gone into creating it.

  4. Once again, your posts makes me long to attend a festival. The Sterling Renaissance Festival sounds really intriguing since it focuses on a specific point in time rather than an era. And how cool you have your own leather armor you can wear when out and about :)

  5. Glad you are enjoying yourself at the festivals. Love the picture of you in armor. Also have to say that I'm amazed at how many festivals there are in the US.

  6. William, I love your picture in the armor! That is fabulous. This seems like a good sized Renaissance Festival with a lot to do. The funny thing is, even though I performed for a summer at a Renaissance Fair, I've never attended one as a patron. I imagine there are quite a few, most probably north of where I live. You are inspiring me to want to go to check one out.

  7. Wow, it's like a whole other world! I'm impressed that this goes on for the entire summer, I'll bet they get lots of "customers." Your armour is too cool! I wonder if there are any of these up Toronto way? There must be. It would be like stepping into another time ...

    1. There are some, just need to check the web. I have seen couple listed. Also depends how far you want to travel to get to one.

  8. Hope the Saratoga Film Festival proves to be a success. One was started in my hometown, Montclair, N.J., about three years ago and it has grown every year. At this year's festival I attended 12 movies in 10 days, which tells you what I think of films festivals.

  9. (1) 1585 was a noteworthy year for both England and America in that the Roanoke Colony near present-day North Carolina was founded in 1585 by Sir Walter Raleigh - did Warwick have any connection with that?
    (2) I myself was unsure as to just what it is that blacksmiths do, so I checked out Wikipedia's "Blacksmith" entry; I didn't know that there are also "whitesmiths" who complementarily work with tin and its alloys, and other light metals - you learn something new every day.