Tuesday, June 13, 2017

New York Capital District Renaissance Festival

I attended the New York Capital District RenaissanceFestival which is located on Indian Ladders Farms in Altamont, NY.  Read about this farm from my last year’s post or on their website.
The Indian Ladders Farms are named for the nearby attraction by the same Name.  Indian Ladder Trail goes from the Hudson Valley up to the Helderberg Escarpment (similar to a plateau).  There were ladders constructed up this plateau, which people believed was used by the local Native Americans, hence the name.  However, this may have never been the case, and these ladders were constructed by the white settlers much latter.  The area, with the help of this myth (and the breathtaking view of the valley below), it became a successful tourist attraction.

They had a parade at the faire.

Now to the festival.  As many readers of my posts over the years know this festival is near where I stay when I am in the Albany area.  It is the third time I have attended this faire, and each year it seems to get larger and larger, and more variety of vendors and entertainment. In fact, I heard on Saturday (I went on Sunday) their attendance for this day matches what they normally do for the entire weekend.

The following are some of the events, vendors and entertainers I saw at this fair.  It is of course a partial listing and I encourage you to go to the festival’s website to find out more.

Vixens en Garde

Vixens en Garde- Everyone who has read at lead one of my reviews of a medieval festival/faires, know how much I like these performers. They provide the best performances at these fairs.  They combine Shakespeare with humor, sword fights and modern references. They should be on your do not miss list.

Nixie the Mermaid

Nixie the Mermaid- A performance artists who will entertain the entire family. I have seen her over the years at the Windfall Dutch Barn and the Mayfaire on the Green festivals.  Don’t forget to donate some money to the Starving Mermaid Fund.

Three Pints Shy

Three Pints Shy- A great band, I enjoy listening to them any chance I get. This group’s musical talent is only matched by their vocals and humor.  They are a regular at medieval/renaissance faires, so make sure you check them out any time they are around.

Member of the SCA educating and entertaining the audiance
Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA, The Eastern Kingdom, The Concordia of the Snows) –-  What a wonderful group of historical reenactors. Their knowledge of the medieval era is impressive.  If you are not into “fighting techniques” do not worry, they also provide information and classes on other medieval techniques such as sewing or cooking. Check out the main SCA for a chapter near you.

Thimbleberry the Wood Sprite and friend

Thimbleberry the Wood Sprite -  I must apologize to her.  I saw her at the Mayfaire on the Green and did not mention her. Like, Nixie above, she is a performance actor in the guise of a fairy like woodland entity or spirit.  She will entertain and enchant the entire family.  At the faire there is an entire section where you can walk and see other woodland spirits.

The knights dismounted and fought on foot.

Roundtable Productions- I have seen them at numerous faires and festivals, they always put on a great demonstration, and jousting techniques.

The wonderful people of The Costumer

The Costumer- This is a store (they have two stores in the Albany area), I have gone into numerous times over the past several years I mentioned them in my post last Halloween.  They sell some wonderful costumes for your family. Here at the faire they provided costumes for you to rent.

The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told introducing themselves to the crowd

The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told- Saw them at this festival last year. Very talented performers that will leave you laughing for the rest of the day.

A Tie-Fighter made by Aggressive Metalworks

Aggressive Metalwork- A great blacksmith which makes some awesome artwork, tools and knives.

Helderberg Meadworks giving out a sample

Helderberg Meadworks-  A local producer of Meade.  I try and buy a product from them each year at the festival. A great group of people selling a great product.

A great author, Keith W. Willis

Keith W. Willis- Author of the novel Traitor Knight.  It was a pleasure to meet and to speak with him. Check out his work and also his blog.

Alice and Her Puppet Friends, including one large dragon

Alice and her Puppet Friends- A staple act in New York State Medieval/Renaissance Faires. She is a wonderful puppeteer and will entertain both children and adults.

The Tepee

Tepee- Whose physical store is located on Route 20, between villages of Cherry Valley and Sharon Springs N.Y.  This store, as the name describes, is shaped as a Tepee. They sell some wonderful products so make sure you visit them when you are in the area.

Indian Ladder Farms Tent

Indian Ladder Farms- Yes, the site of the festival itself.  If you get a chance check out their website, and visit them in your nest trip to the area. They have some of the best local grown products in the area.

Shimmy Gypsies

Shimmy Gypsies- A very talented belly dancing group that will certainly entertain everyone.

The Boar's Den serving some wonderful food

The Boar’s Den- I bought a Boar Sandwich (pulled pork), they have the other traditional medieval food like turkey drumsticks etc.

Teardrop Creations

Teardrop Creations- Friends I have seen at these faires since Krebashia Kingdom Medieval Fantasy Faire back in 2015.  They produce some wonderful jewelry and other products.  Check them out, and order some of their great products.

People enjoying dancing around the Maypole

Diddleydeets Scents and their wonderful products

Diddleydeets Scents- I mentioned them in my recent blog about the Mayfaire on the Green.  A wonderful supplier of incense, oils, perfume and even some medieval items.  Contact them at (518) 842-0104.

Knightly Endeavors tent, displaying some of their wonderful products

Knightly Endeavors-Another staple of many faires I attend.  They sell some wonderful period clothing. It is always a pleasure to stop and speak with them. Check out their product line.

Whispering Willow Wild Care, a wonderful group with a noble cause

Whispering Willow Wild Care- A nonprofit group dedicated to helping injured or orphaned wildlife.

Made by Hand Leather
Made by Hand Leather- I always enjoy seeing this vendor at the faires. He sells some very good items at some very reasonable prices. Check out his Etsy site for more information and products.

The group at Tintagels Gate

Tintagels Forge/TintagelsGate- A vendor and blacksmith, I first saw at the Connecticut Renassance Festival, then at the Vermont Renaissance Winter Festival.  They sells some wonderful items, and at a more than a reasonable price. This is a definite to check.
There was beautiful harp music by Dawn Danis
Dr. Who even showed up to fight a Dalek
A queen on her throne.  This looks like a flipped picture from last years post, but it isn't.you can see her at the upcoming New York State Fairy Festival

I really enjoyed the faire this year.  If the current trend of its growth continues, this will be one of the major medieval/renaissance faires on the East Coast.
W.A.Rusho is a historian, professional wrestler, and author. you can contact him on his website, or by email.

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  1. William, you have certainly captured the spirit of this Renaissance Fest. How many different Renaissance Festivals have you been to? Or have you lost count ...?

  2. Sounds like fun! I have never been to a similar festival but once in a life would love to try for sure!

  3. William - this festival certainly looks as though it has something for all the family. I always imagined the majority of New York as being quite built up. I assume this festival takes place on the outskirts.

  4. Interesting article about a festival you love. Can't help reflecting on what was going on in the area that is now the United States during the time we had the renaissance in Europe. Something different, for sure.

  5. These fairs are so extensive, it just amazes me. You could certainly find something for everyone in your family to enjoy. I think I'd like to visit the fairies!

  6. I've always wanted to dress up as a mermaid as a performance artist. It looks like hard work but also a lot of fun!

  7. Nixie the Mermaid looks like my type of gal :)