Monday, June 26, 2017

Vermont Renaissance Festival

There were two medieval/renaissance faires held this past weekend, so I will be talking about them over the next two posts.
First, I attended the Vermont Renaissance Festival, which was held on June 24 and 25th.  This was the first time I attended this faire, but I did attend the Vermont Winters Faire last March.  Besides these two faires there are numerous other events put on by this group, check out their website to find out more.
The upper East Coast seems to have many faires (as you have noticed from my reviews on my blog). The Vermont Renaissance Festival is one of the major one of these faires, so I was excited on going to it.

The faire itself is held at the Mayo Events Fields at 80 Weeks Hill Rd, Stowe, Vermont. This is a 32-acre section of the 235-acre Mayo Farm property, this property is part of the Stowe Parks and Recreation. This land was purchased in the 1980’s for conservation purposes. The area is located near West Branch of Little River and the green mountains of Vermont loom over it from nearby. For me, this was a 4-hour drive to get there; I decided to go since I enjoyed myself at the Winter Festival. The festival was worth the drive.
As with most of my blog posts, I will mention the vendors and artists I have seen, or stood out. I wish I had the time to list them all, but space will not allow it.  I would suggest you go to the festival’s website and learn about each one. One of the disadvantages of driving a long distance, is you must drive back, so I could not stay to see all the exciting and entertaining acts, and vendors at the faire.
Made by Hand Leather
Made by Hand Leather- Another vendor I see at numerous faires. He sells some very good items at some very reasonable prices. Check out his Etsy site and see his wonderful products.
Tintagels Gate tent

Tintagels Gate- Another great vendor you can read about on my past posts, including the recent New York Capital District RenaissanceFestival, and other faires. They sell wonderful items, including weapons, at very reasonable price.
Band of Angels
Band of Angels- You truly do not know how beautiful harp music until you hear a master play one accompanied by a wonderful voice. This group has both.

The Brotherhood of the Arrow and Sword-Anyone who has read a few of my posts know how impressed I am with this group. Since I have seen them so many times, I am running out of words to describe how truly good this group is. Normally, I would see them at the Mutton and Mead festival, but this year the two faires were scheduled on the same weekend.  No matter which faire they attend, their knowledge and performance is unmatched.

Draugar Vinlands Encampment
Draugar Vinlands- A group I first saw at the Vermont Winter Festival last March.  There are a group of historical reenactors dedicated to the Viking age.  Not only do they learn the fighting arts of the Vikings (using accurate weighted weapons), they also engage in the attitude and culture of the period. They are truly a great group, and I encourage you to look them up and see one of their encampments, or performances. Like the Brotherhood of the Arrow and Sword, you will learn something new every single time you see them.
L.I.A.R.S. (Ladies of Integrity, Aristocracy, Repute, and Society)

L.I.A.R.S.- Another staple of medieval/renaissance faires.  I had posted about them on numerous occasions.  You must hear these attractive women sing in person to truly appreciate how great their voices are.
O’h Aneligh
O’h Aneligh- A group that specializes in Irish-American music. They are very talented, and their repertoire includes songs from the renaissance, civil ware and of course historical Irish songs.

Shelli Buttons

Shelli Buttons- Another talented performer I first saw at the  Connecticut Renaissance Faire . She is truly amazing.  At this event, she juggled fire, and knives (sitting on an audience member’s shoulders) and performed on silk rope suspended high above the ground. If you get a chance, do not miss this entertainer.
Grinning Dwarf tent
The Grinning Dwarf- A great vendor I have seen over the years at numerous faires.  Truly good products at a great price.
Iron Grove Forge
Iron Grove Forge- Reading my posts, you know how much I appreciate the skill used in blacksmithing. He was a very talented blacksmith, who took the time to educate anyone who asked about this skill.

Spur of the Moment Joust Team

What would a medieval/renaissance faire be without a good joust. This was presented by the Spur of the Moment Joust Team and EquestrialMartial Arts. A very talented group, with some great skills.

Lusty Leather
Lusty Leather-Another great vendor offering some great products.
There was even a place to buy Vermont Renaissance Festival souvenirs

The faire also had wonderful food and drink.  I bought a pulled pork sandwich from Bluebird BBQ.

Leanan Sidhe

Leanan Sidhe- A group of belly dancers which will entertain you, but also educate you on the art and history of this dance.

There were so many other great entertainers, such as this performer named Avalon Sea, playing the Hurdy Gurdy.

The Vermont Renaissance Festival is a great faire, and put on by a group of wonderful promoters and volunteers. I would encourage each of you to check out their site for next year, and also for the upcoming events they put on.

Next Week: Part 2 of this past weeks faires.

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

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  1. I can imagine it must take a lot of time and effort to run these festivals.

    Thank you for sharing

  2. Wonderful William, though I was a little surprised to see the belly dancers. I love Vermont and have been to Stowe a couple of times so along with your wonderful photographs it was easy to imagine this wonderful event.

  3. William, what fun you have. If I was a traveler I would thoroughly enjoy going to one of these faires with you. For anyone at all interested in history this would be a fantastic experience. I'm always interested in how things used to be done and you would certainly learn that here.

  4. Belly dancers at a Renaissance Faire> Is that an anachronism? I play the recorder, so I usually enjoy the music groups at these types of events.

    1. Belly Dancers are thought to have come to Spain from Lebanon in the time of the Phoenicians (11th Century BC to 5th Century BC). Also remember, the knights from Europe who had journeyed to the Middle East probably would of been exposed to them.

  5. The belly dancers make me laugh, despite your explanations. Doubt belly dancing was common in medieval Europe. Have a feeling the belly dancers at the festival just love belly dancing:-)

  6. I never attended a Renaissance Festival, although they certainly do look like a colorful and fun time. My dream has always been to engage in a LARP group (live action role-playing). Still has yet to happen!

  7. Harp music truly is magical. There's a volunteer who plays at times at the hospital where I am getting my chemo treatments and it always brightens my day to hear those strings being plucked.

  8. I'm starting to recognize a lot of these acts by name from reading your blog. It's like I know them, even though I of course don't. If I ever make it to a North East renaissance fair, it will be like I'm seeing a bunch of celebrities! Glad the one in Vermont was worth the drive.

  9. William -- when I read your posts I become very nostalgic for my days when my husband and I had a log home in Petersburg, NY, nestled in the corner where Massachusetts and Vermont meet. We never attended a medieval/renaissance faire but did go to many flea markets and antique shows. New England was home to the first settlers and has a culture and history that is unmatched in any other section of the country. Look forward to your next post

  10. Your posts always open me up to a brand new world that I need to experience. The sheer number of talented people that perform or are vendors at these events is pretty darned amazing. Glad you go to attend this one.

  11. I was there too. First time we've taken our seven year old grandson. He was thrilled, especially when one of the knights gave him a trinket for choosing the weapons in one contest. it is all he's talked about since. So much talent in one place, wonderful way to learn medieval history and lots of attention to families. You've done a wonderful job of capturing the events and the energy!