Monday, May 15, 2017

Community Renaissance Faire/ Robin Hood’s Faire

In this post, I am combining two faires that I have recently attended.
Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies

The first faire I attended was the Community Renaissance Faire held at the Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies located in Amherst, Ma. This is the 15th edition of this annual festival.

The Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies purpose is to promote the research, teaching and dissemination of literature and culture of early modern periods (1400 – 1700 AD) as part of the University of Massachusetts and the College of Humanities of Fine Art.

This was a small fair, an extremely small one, both in presentation and in audience.  I think the issue for this faire is that it is being sponsored by a college, I am sure they do not have access to lot of funds available to hire or entice vendors and acts that I frequently discuss in this blog with other faires.

Even with their limitations, they did an excellent job with what they had. I would think this faire might become larger, but being its 15th year, I would think their growth would be capped by now.

There were several items which were outstanding with this faire.  First, was their book sale in their barn.  They had thousands of reference books available for sale, some as low as $ .25, paying a quarter for such reference books cannot be beat.

Another interesting demonstration was Marla Isaac’s display of a red tail hawk and owl.  She was very informative and he knowledge of birds of prey is unmatched.

Phoenix Swords put on a very informative exhibition of weapons. Different demonstrations during the day concentrated on different medieval weapons and styles from different European countries.
The faire has an instruction/demonstration of renaissance dance

I hope the promoters of this faire can make it larger, and bring in more vendors and entertainment. It has the potential to be a very good, and large faire.

Robin Hood's Faire
The Parade of Doom at the Robin Hood's Faire

This past weekend I attended the Robin Hood’s Faire.  This was located at 300 Washington Ave. North Haven, Ct.  Readers of my blog will remember this is the same location as the Connecticut Renaissance Faire that I attended last October. In fact, this faire is presented by the same people.

To me the Connecticut Renaissance Faire is one of my favorites, I was hoping that the group who presented this did a good job with the Robin Hood’s Faire:  I was not disappointed.  As you can imagine from the name, the faire concentrated more on the adventures of Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest; this included performances of Robin Hood, Maid Marian, Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham.

The following are some of the vendors and artists who I saw this past weekend.

Drunk & Disorderly

Drunk & Disorderly was a wonderful singing group. It consisted of a collection of members from different groups. There were members from Below the Gaff, Penniless Jacks (formerly Bare B.O. N.E.S.)   and others.  This was a wonderful group and a pleasure to listen to. Normally, this type of group might consist of 3-4 members,  this group had 6 which gave it a fuller sound.

Paragon Jousting had a tent selling their armor and weapons

Many of you will remember I have written in the past about Paragon Jousting. They put on a wonderful, and informative show almost every time I have seen them.  Recently, they have decided to close the company, I will miss their performances very much. At this fair, they had a tent to sell some of their weapons and armor.

The Hoop Enchantress  (Erin Jeannier) was an amazing act.  I do not know how she does it, but how she performs with a hoop (or several) defies logic and the laws of gravity. She is now on my “Do Not Miss” list.

Society for Creative Anachronism (Eastern Kingdom) had an encampment, where they would demonstrate fighting techniques and historical livings.   This is a wonderful and informative group.

Tintagel’s Gate Swords, I have seen them at several medieval faires, the last one was the Vermont Winter Faire.  They have some wonderful prices on some wonderful weapons, do not miss them.

Festival Fotos, although I did not get my picture taken this time (I did last fall), they were at the faire.  You can wear a costume of yours, or put on of theirs and get a wonderful souvenir of your visit to the faire.

Just in Tyme Boots , is a wonderful vender.  If you need some boots to finish your re-enactment for your renaissance, steampunk or pirate costume, this is the place to get it.  Their products are of a high quality, and prices are very reasonable.

The Knights of Gore.  This group put on a wonderful demonstration of knights in combat. If you want to see knights going at each other with different weapons, do not miss their performances.  You will also learn a lot about these weapons and the lifestyles of knights.

Medieval Maiden Soaps.  They produce some wonderful, unique hand crafted soaps with no artificial coloring.  Please check them out on their Facebook page.

Knightly Endeavors- I had an opportunity to speak to this vendor for a long time. His products are very good quality, and at a very reasonable price.  He attends numerous faires, so make sure you visit them.
There were donkey rides (for future knights) put on by Tripledale Farms

It was pet weekend, many people brought their pets, some even dressed them in renaissance costume

The Maypole dance seemed to have captured someone in its web of ribbons

Robin Hood and his Merry Men even got into the entertainment act

I would encourage you to seek out these vendors and entertainers, and also the websites for these faires. The Robin Hood’s Faire is running until the end of May, if you get a chance please make arrangements to attend, you and your family will enjoy it.

W.A.Rusho is a professional wrestler, historian and author. You may contact him on his website, or by email.


  1. William, it's amazing that you are able find and visit all these medieval faires and take the time to promote them. Is there are website that lists all these faires and when they are.
    Interesting as always.

    1. The answer is yes and no. I have found numerous sites, but they are not complete; some list one event, the other doesn't.
      I usually just go and type in medieval faires (or types of fairs you are looking for) and the state you are in. Of course, if you are in the Northeast, I list most of them here earlier on in the year.

  2. Love the photos as always. Such creative names for some of these groups, though I must admit I'm partial to Drunk & Disorderly. I moved to Oregon a few months ago and following your blog inspired me to check on fairs in my area and was surprised to see how many there are! In fact, I'm planning to go to one near Portland in June. :-)

    1. Is that the Oregon Renaissance Fair in Canby? Of course I have never been, but have heard good things about it. Enjoy yourself, make sure I know how it is.

  3. There was a lot going on at this fair - something for all the family. I was most intrigued by the spelling of Sherwood Forest in the first photograph. Was this deliberate in a bid to be quirky?

  4. Drunk & Disorderly is a great name for a signing group. Thanks once again for sharing your trips to various faires. It always makes me want to play dress up.

  5. A few days ago I noticed pictures of the same kind of a medieval festival you regularly attend in a Swedish quality newspaper. Obviously there are a handful of such festivals in Sweden as well.

    1. It is kind of funny. Medieval/renaissance festivals started in this country (dealing with European history), but not they are growing in Europe. I have read about several faires in Sweden, they deal a lot with the Viking history.

  6. Books at that price - I would have gone crazy and bought so many!

  7. I never thought of dressing your pet in Renaissance costumes. How fun. Sounds like a couple of good fairs. I'm definitely rooting for the small one to grow. I'm always a sucker for the underdog.

  8. Seems Fun, love that you share it William, and yes just like Emily said, I would be with books as well as time ;)

  9. The Robin Hood Faire seems like a lot of fun! I love looking at all your photos and seeing all the costumes and performances =)

  10. The Robin Hood Faire seems like a lot of fun! I love looking at all your photos and seeing all the costumes and performances =)