I attended the Mutton and Mead Festival which is located at Turners Falls Rd, Montague, MA. I have attended this faire several times before, and it never has disappointed me. The cost of the faire is reasonable for one of this size; entrance fee is $15.00, with a parking fee of $5.
This festival is a project of the Knighten Guild, in cooperation with the Millers Falls R&G Club. The festival hosts a yearly Food Drive at the festival for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. or a partnering agency. The festival also works to provide support the Montague Common Hall (formerly the Grange) located in Montague Center. The Montague Common Hall has served the community for over 100 years.
There are many little items which make this faire special. Such as, to enter you must go down a long path. This path is marked with signs indicating the year, from today, all the way back to the early 13th century, which is the timeframe the faire is based upon. It was as if you were traveling back in time the further you went down the path.
The background of the story of the Mutton and Mead Festival, is similar to the story of the movie "Brigadoon" (1954). But luckily for us, the Mutton and Mead Festival rises every summer, not every 100 years.
As with most of the faires I attend, the following is just a partial list of the acts, entertainers and vendors I saw at this faire. The following is but a sample of the attractions at this faire. Some of these are old familiars I have written about before, some are brand new. I suggest you look at the faires Entertainment and Food & Market Place webpages to see a more comprehensive list.
One of my favorite activities of the faire is going through theEnchanted Forest. I could write an entire post just about this one section of the faire. Here you will find some mystical creatures such as fairies, sprites, trolls and other mysterious inhabitants of the forest. You will also be entertained by some games, stories, and great music. Read below about the Vixens en Garde.
Below the Gaff- Always an entertaining group, so do not miss them. Their pirate songs, and jokes, will entertain the entire family. (Their singing is much better than their jokes).
L.I.A.R.S. (Ladies of Integrity, Aristocracy, Repute, andSociety)- What a beautiful (both as woman and as singers) group who will enchant you with their song.
At the end of Below the Gaff’s performance, they asked the members of the L.I.A.R.S. to come up and they sung together. It was a pleasure, and a treat, to hear so many great artists on one stage.
DeBracey Productions- What is a festival without a joust? This group puts on a wonderful joust, one showing off their rider’s skills, and another with a head-on joust.
Meadhall Outfitters: Medieval/Historic clothing for men and women. Leather goods and accessories
Vixens en Garde- All I can say is how lucky I am to have the opportunity to see them twice in two weeks. Last time was at the NY Capitol District Renaissance Festival. They always remain on the top of my do not miss list for performers.
Trolls from the Skeleton Crew Theater came out of the Enchanted Forest to sit and watch one of the Vixens en Garde performances. You know you have made it big in the world of medieval/renaissance festivals when trolls come to see your show.
Blackbird Leatherworks- Hannah makes some wonderful items. I would seek her out and see the talent that goes into her products.
Brotherhood of the Arrow and Sword- This is one of the first combat oriented groups I ever met, and they have been on top of my do not miss list ever since. Their skill with combat weapons will educate while they entertain you.
This was a rare treat, they gave an educational talk about early black powder weapons. As a reader of my post, you know I have been to numerous medieval/renaissance festivals; information, like this is very unique and rarely seen. Seek this group out!!!
I finally got a photo with members of the group. The group is also now selling Tee-Shirts, get yours today.
Forge and Fleece: A producer of some fine chainmail and scale mail armor, and jewelry and costume pieces. They even had dragon tails!
|Not sure who is checking out who|
CIRQUE DU SEWER-One of my all-time favorites. The acrobat with acrorats. It is a delight to see Melissa Arleth perform with her trained rats, and one confused cat.
Cornerstone Creations- A great creator of some awesome concreate statuary, birdbaths and fence hangings and other items. He sells these items at a wonderful price, so make sure you check his site out.
Dragon Ice Cream- You have not had ice cream until you get one from a dragon.
Green River Woodcraft- A maker of great archery equipment. You can visit him and see how he performs his craft, it is a fascinating field.
Hickory Arms-producers of excellent wooden swords and shields. They are a regular at many of the faires and festivals I attend.
Just in Tyme Boots- A staple for selling boots and footwear at many medieval/renaissance faires. Check out their site for their entire product line.
Made by Hand Leather- I always enjoy speaking with Caleb at these faires. His products are wonderful, so make sure to check them out.
Tatterdemalion- She sells some wonderful medieval/renaissance clothing. She has become a regular at many of the faires and festivals that I post about in this blog.
Tintagels Gate- This vendor has all of your medieval needs, from weapons to herbs and clothing. One of my favorite places to shop.
|There was so much more to do at the faire, you could even participate in a medieval dance.|
The Mutton and Mead Festival is one of the faires I look forward going to each year. I would recommend next year, that you make plans to visit this magical place. For being held only on one weekend, they know how to put on a faire. So you know, I was there for most of one day, and the list above is but a small sampling of what I could fit in that one day. This faire has everything, and an abundance of it; If you do attend this faire, get their early and stay late, or better yet, make it a full weekend.
Next time: VermontRenaissance Faire
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W.A.Rusho is a professional wrestler, author and historian. You can reach him at his website or email.