Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Connecticut Renaissance Faire and the Warrensburg World’s Largest Garage Sale

This week I attended two completely different events over the weekend. The weather was not perfect, but I did enjoy myself at both events.
The first event I went to was the Warrensburg (NY) City WideGarage Sale, also referred to as the World’s Largest Garage
When in the area, make sure you check out the beautiful scenery
Warrensburg is a township located on the west side of Lake Champlain. It is named after Dr. Joseph Warren, who was an American patriot, most notably for enlisting Paul Revere and William Dawes to tell about the arrival of British soldiers. Warren gave up his Brigadier General’s rank, to fight at the Battle of Bunker Hill as a private soldier, where he was killed.

Technically, this might not be the World’s Largest Garage Sale, but it is certainly the largest I have ever seen. The whole town seems to have something on their lawn for sale.  The garage/yard sales stretch for miles and miles.
Not only are there personal yard sales, there are even commercial tents which sell new items sucg as electronics to socks and sheets. The local businesses also participate in the sales. Maple Tree Bookstore is a local book store, and every year they have a huge tent selling many books at a discount rate.      
Outside the Maple Tree Bookstore
If you are ever in the area you in the area, you must go to Oscar’s Smokehouse. Trust me when I say this place is world-famous. Everyone knows about the quality of meats and cheeses you get at Oscars.

Connecticut Renaissance Faire
This is the first time I have gone to the Connecticut RenaissanceFaire located at the North Haven Fair Grounds, North Haven, Connecticut.  This will probably be my last faire of that type for the year.  I must say, I was not disappointed in this faire
Since it will be my last renaissance faire for the year, and also had an entire day to spend at this faire, I bought the “VIP Experience” packet. This gave me certain items such as a hat and tote bag, plus other great perks. 
I was even given the honor of escorting the Queen Elizabeth herself around the faire, and also to be present at the royal box seating at the joust. Speaking of the Queen (the performer), she was very charming and elegant, and made my time at this faire even more special.
Queen Elizabeth touring the faire.

This was the Pet and Marketplace Themed weekend; so many people brought their pets to the faire.

People brought their dogs, some dressed in costume

Some pets were not dogs

My first visit was to “Below the Gaff’; many of you will remember I had first saw this group at the Market of the Moons RenaissanceFestival earlier this year.  You may also remember that I commented on a full disclosure about meeting them.
Below the Gaff
I had bought their CD, “Songs of Warship”, which has become one of my favorites to listen to. There live performance is even better, including comedic antics and interaction with the audience. Their versions of traditional sailor, and Irish songs combined with some of their original material are something not to be missed. Their harmonies and instrumentals truly make them a special band. You can listen to some of their music, order their CD at their homepage.
Another staple of the faires that I attend, (Mutton and MeadFestival) is Cirque du Sewer, the acrobat with acrorats.  I have described seeing her at the two times I have visited the above-mentioned Mutton and Mead Festival.  Melissa Arleth is a remarkable entertainer, and her rats (and one confused cat) are also amazing.  Normally, I would advise against this; however, I cannot help but recommend you see her rat infested stage (actually, they are only a few, and they are very furry and adorable).
Melissa showing some affection to one of her "co-workers"

Tatterdemalion, a shop I saw at the Mutton and Mead Festival; a merchant that sells clothing at a very reasonable price.
Tatterdemalion tent

As usual, there was a tent from Tandy leather. You will recall I have seen them at numerous events throughout the year. If you are working with leather, you must go to Tandy Leather first and find a location near you.
Tandy leather tent.

Festival Fotos – Again I wanted to get my picture with the armor I created. They do a wonderful job.
Taken at "Festival Fotos"

Tintagels Forge, again, I cannot miss a blacksmith working at his/her trade. It was wonderful to see them work. The tent   also includes Tintagels Gate, where I purchased a blade.  They have some of the best prices you can find.

FYI - If you go to a medieval/renaissance faire, you will notice places or things referred to as Tintagel. This is a location in Cornwall, England. There is a castle/fortification located there, which is associated with the legend of King Author and his knights.

The Warlords Crusade Armory was an excellent vendor.  Todd Silber is an outstanding craftsman who makes incredible leather armor and products.
Paragon Jousting – As with evert medieval/renaissance faire, the joust is the highlight of the event.  This is another group I have seen before at the Krebashia KingdomMedieval Fantasy Faire.   This is a very well trained group of knights, who will certainly educate, while entertaining the family with their skill of weapons and equestrian talents.
They fought a traditional joust
With swords on horseback
and even dismounted with swords
Three Pints Shy - I first saw this group a couple of years ago at the New York Capitol District Renaissance Faire. They are a very talented group of musicians who sing amazing and will interact with the audience. Please check out their website to find out where they appear next. FYI, Their only appearance at this faire was this past weekend.
3 Pints Shy
Over the entire run of the show, which is in October, they will have meet the author. You can have an opportunity to meet with a different author, one for every day of the festival.  I had the opportunity to meet with Michael Bailey author of Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins, The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot: Assassins Brawl, and the upcoming Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women.
Michael Bailey
A Midsummer’s Night Musical - Was a wonderful rendition of Shakespeare’s play. This included the addition of modern songs and jokes. It was a wonderful performance by this group of great actors and singers.
The talented actors of A Midsummer’s Night Musical
Shelli Buttons- A great talented juggler and acrobat. Her skills are truly amazing.  I could not believe I was seeing her juggle on top of an audience member’s shoulders.
incredible act of Shelli Buttons

Sheriff Bracken- Pay attention, the sheriff will put out small stop signs. If you do not obey and stop, he will write you up with a citation.

Pub Crawl- Again, I had the honor of escorting the queen to this event. Here she knighted several people, including some children who could not have enjoyed the ceremony any better.
A young man about to be knighted by the Queen

 At the Pub Crawl some of the members of the musical groups, were joined with the performers from “A Midsummer’s Night Musical” who engaged the crowd in song and music.
They had a parade with all the performers and merchants
And included the Queen
The Connecticut Renaissance Festival will run every Saturday and Sunday (also Columbus Day) in October, there is a theme for each weekend, so please check that out for details.
I must say this fair was very enjoyable, entertaining and also educational. It will be a fun time for you and your entire family.  This faire will be added to the list of most enjoyable things I did this year.
Also, be informed that the same group also puts on the Robin Hood Spring Festival in Spencer, Massachusetts, I will plan on attending this next year, and if they do the same job as this fair, I will not be disappointed.
Next week:  It’s the start of my favorite month, October, which means Halloween Posts!!!!!

W.A.Rusho is a historian, professional wrestler and author. Visit his website or email him.


  1. William, you live in such a fun area with all these wonderful fairs and engaging people!
    Your armor is absolutely frightening. Yikes! Could visualize you in a heated blade battle!

  2. I enjoy jousting events when I go to renaissance fairs. Thanks for sharing. It looks like you had a great time.

  3. How cool to escort the queen and be in the royal box for the joust! And that garage sale sounds pretty large - overwhelming actually.

  4. Hi William. I hear there is an excellent chocolate maker on the shores of Lake Champlain. I would have loved to have gone to that giant garage sale!

    The Renaissance Festivals look like fun, too. It sure looks like you had a busy summer!

  5. You do the most fascinating things William! That giant garage sale sounds marvelous and could easily take up a whole day. The fair also looks like a great time, can't miss with a parade!

  6. William, you look a natural in your armor - can understand why you were asked to escort the Queen - very handsome.
    That large sale must have been something special with something for everyone. Sounds like you had another fun day.

  7. Looks and sounds as if you had a fantastic time, William. Can't help reflecting that you were probably born in the wrong century. Would you have been happier if you had been born during the renaissance? Or maybe not. Only you know the answer to that.

  8. Looks like you had a good weekend in spite of the weather. Any festival where you can bring your dog is okay in my book.

  9. I always say I'm going to go garage saling, but then never do. When I was a kid, it was one of my favorite things to do with my grandma. Places like Oscar's are a great find.

  10. That is a brave audience member who lets someone juggle on their head! Both the Connecticut Renaissance Fair and the Worlds Largest Garage Sale seem like they were a lot of fun. There is a swap meet a few blocks from where I live that runs on the weekends that looks a bit like the garage sale. It is hugely popular.

  11. Those book stalls are such a great idea with discounts. Looks like a fun place.