The NY Renaissance Faire

August 2nd, 2012 by Magdalena Tabor
August summons the NY Renaissance Faire located in Sterling Forest, Tuxedo NY. The Faire runs every weekend from now until the third weekend in September.  For all you Shakespeare buffs and lovers of medieval times, it’s a thoroughly entertaining way to spend the day.
Comprised of twenty stages and more than one hundred shops scattered about on 65 acres, it’s impossible to enjoy the many attractions on one mere visit. Among my favorites is Birds of Prey. The audience is seated around rustic benches in a small open arena while each bird is introduced by the falconer and sent soaring through the crowd. The majestic wing spans will thrill nature lovers young and old alike.
Another interesting performance is staged by a remarkable man who plays a carillon; an ancient French instrument consisting of behemoth sized bells that are struck by pounding the keys on an organ. The sound produced by the carillon is breathtakingly mysterious, and made even more so by the masked man clad in black. He’s rather scary looking but the mystique was shattered when we approached him afterwards. Although he never removed the bird mask, he sounded just like a regular guy. Why couldn’t he keep up the pretense and respond in like fashion? I purchased the DVD anyway because I was so impressed with him. See his act entitled Cast In Bronze. You can get a taste of it on his website by the same name if you Google it but it won’t exude the same charm casting one spellbound. You have to see him for yourself to experience the magic.
Unless you consult your map of the fairgrounds distributed upon entering, you will ultimately become lost and revisit the area from which you departed an hour ago. Don’t make this mistake or you’ll miss out on all the fun. There are so many shows scheduled throughout the day, some of which have you hopping from one end of the fairgrounds to the other. To prevent you from missing any portion of  the ones you’re interested in, I suggest you do your homework by visiting the official NY Renaissance Faire website or studying the list of events handed out at the gate. To save you some additional time, buy your tickets on line so that you don’t have to wait on one when you get there.
Many of the shows involve audience participation, like it or not. You will need to quickly overcome any shyness or inhibitions for the actors will most certainly put you on the spot with no regard for your obvious discomfort. So be a good sport and wear the diaper while loudly proclaiming your manhood in front of complete strangers while everyone laughs at you. And the one you came with is laughing the hardest. Look, I feel for the guy, but it is funny. He shouldn’t have raised his hand to impress his lady friend with those lovely roses they were doling out. Glad they didn’t pick you, huh?
As the trails circle and overlap, you will encounter lords and ladies, peasants and landed gentry alike. Listen to minstrels and storytellers or maybe you’ll run into the Music Box Lady perched on her pedestal singing sweetly as she moves in delightful music box motion. Talent abounds as aspiring actors impress you with their wit and wisdom.  It’s hilarity at its best or at times, worst. Stop at Rotten Revenge; a rather raunchy act involving a face framed in a wooden cut-out who hurls insults as passers by. You get to stop and take your revenge by matching his insults with tomatoes that either hit or miss. If you fail to splatter his nasty little face, his insults will become ever more crude. At one point it became so vulgar, the crowd thinned out to just a couple of people laughing at his tasteless remarks. It’s not for everybody. I’m not sure it’s even for anybody.

One thing is for certain. You will leave the Faire a different person than from when you first arrived, perhaps sporting a jaunty hat; pirate, jester, or wizard’s. Take your pick. You get to be a kid again, no questions asked. No one will give you so much as a sideways glance.
So, whadayathink? Michael reluctantly agreed to go with me one year thinking he wouldn’t enjoy it. He had the best time.
He still has his pirate’s hat! (although he probably wouldn’t want me to tell you that.)
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