A Day Back in Time at King Richard’s Faire

by Cie McCullough Buschle on October 22, 2011

in Travel Ideas

king-richards-faireA renaissance faire is a great way to learn about medieval history, and it’s a fun thing to do with kids too.

In 1983, when I was in college , I worked at King Richard’s Faire in the town of Carver in Southeastern Massachusetts. Back then the Faire was new to the area, and still small but growing.

My job was to work in the fruit booth. I would stand in the front of the booth and sing out in a loud voice “Fresh fruit for sale here! Very very fresh fruit. Come get you fruit cups, fruit skewers and crepes! Very very fresh fruit!”

Sometimes one of the actors would pass by and yell back “Tell that fruit to stop being fresh! If I have to come back there, it will be trouble for him.” The way you could tell it was an actor, a paid professional employee of the Faire, was that he was wearing an incredible costume, perfect for the period.

kids-in-medieval-costumeThat is not necessarily true anymore.

This year King Richard’s Faire celebrates 30 years of being a step back in time. A few weeks ago they invited me back, along with my kids and a friend from the Boston area, to see the changes. This is something I have wanted to do since I had kids. And we certainly had fun.

My son did a bit of bragging and almost found himself dueling a master fencer. He also found the food quite a bit tasty. My daughter enjoyed the cheesy “Museum of Torture” – actually, we both had quite a few giggles at parts of it – and both kids loved watching the joust.

Everywhere we turned there was something new to see. The artisans we especially entrancing. Stopping to see handmade musical instruments, swords, jewelry, amazing woodwork, or leather bound journals. Where ever we walked we were hardly out of earshot of some beautiful music: singers, dancers and more. Plus there were some fun performers like the living stone gargoyle.jousting-king-richards-faire

We started by trying to go around the outer circle. As each section of the fair has an appropriate name, that means we strolled down York Way to the Tournament Fields to watch some jousting. The jousting was so much fun, we watched it twice! We found our way over to Gaming Glen, where the rest of my party tried their hands at archery and dagger throwing.

We stopped for lunch in The Glade, and watched some of the creative rides. All the rides are human powered, so we had a good laugh watching one family get berated by what sounded like a slave driver “You call that fast? A bunch of anorexic dwarfs could go faster than you lot!”

boy-eating-turkey-legThe food is good, but to buy anything, including beer and my personal favorite, honey mead, we first had to buy tickets. Tickets are sold in groups of $5.00 and work out to fifty cents each. We had a few left over, and gave them to some nice looking barbarians before we left the fair.

We each left with a souvenir. My daughter found a beautiful wooden anklet and I finally got a new ear clip. My friend got a nice hefty dagger, er, letter opener. My son had wanted a lute but settled on a clay ocarina, which was much cheaper and also easier to play. And of course, we all have our memories.

This is the last weekend for King Richard’s Faire this year, but it will open again next year, weekends in the months of September and October, and hopefully for many more years to come.

Go See It!

King Richard’s Faire can be found on September and October weekends in Carver, MA (1 hour southeast of Boston.)

For more information, go to www.kingrichardsfaire.net.

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A big thank you to King Richard’s Faire for providing complimentary admission!

| Cie McCullough Buschle lives with her dog Einstein and a cat named Burton Guster. She is a lifelong traveler and enjoys researching history through holidays, toys, and everyday objects. Cie is a sculptor and co-owns The Creative Chameleon, a place where kids and adults can create, paint, celebrate, and just have a lot of fun. Sometimes you can find her time traveling back to the Middle Ages as part of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

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