Amid the forests of Carver Massachusetts, in the months of October to September, a very special event is held each year. There is no pavement here, only dirt paths covered by pine needles that wind their way past castle gates, cottages, wooden stages, gift shops and an open field where jousting tournaments are held by knights on real horses. The actors involved with the jousting tournaments, as well as everywhere else in the fair, will get you involved and possibly even have you standing on your feet cheering for your favorite knight.
This is the New England Renaissance Festival known as King Richard’s Faire and I attend almost every year. It is great fun to dress up in period garb and play the role as you stroll through the fair. There is a costume rental cottage right near the entrance to the fair or like a number of my friends, you can make your own costumes. We really like to immerse ourselves in the medieval time period and I generally “attempt” to speak with an old English accent when socializing with people at the fair. It is not of course required, but you will have much more fun if you do it. I was once put into the stocks and pelted with marshmallows for being an “insolent wench” and for once it was not my coworkers calling me this name !
Of course, if role-playing is just not your thing, then watching the rest of us make fools of ourselves may serve to entertain you. The fair is full of very talented artisans who will be dressed and role-playing as well. They truly do have a very talented crew working here each year. The comedy shows are funny, the magic shows for children are entertaining even for adults and the tiger exhibit is always a big favorite among all who go. There are stages set up all over the woods and you never know (unless you are holding the map/guide) when you might be about to pass a juggler, minstrel, dancers, fire-eater, or puppeteer. There is something going on everywhere you look and music floats by from many directions.
King Richard's is open on weekends only from September 3 thru October 23. Check the dates before you depart for the fair as it can change by a day or two from year to year.
The gates to the kingdom open at 10:30am and close at 6:00pm.
If you think that you might wish to sit during the jousting matches bring something to sit on, a newspaper, towel, sit-upon, sweater, anything, as the jousting field tends to be a dirt-grass-hay mixture.
If the weather has been rainy the week before you go, wear proper footwear for traveling through mud.
3 South to 44 West to 58 South & follow signs to the gates or:
93 South to 24 south to I-495 South, exit 2 at Route 58 & follow signs.
195 East to I-495 North to Route 58 & follow signs.
The fair is a wonderful time and well worth many visits but bring a well stocked wallet because while it is a full day of entertainment and all shows are free ( they ask for donations at the end of each show) admission is pricey and so is the food.
And do bring a camera because as they say at the fair’s website, “One Day, One Thousand Memories”.