The Hippo


Apr 19, 2019








(Left to right) Larry Scialdone, Andrew Jefferson, Mary Daisley and Gary White at a previous NH Renaissance Faire. Courtesy photo.

New Hampshire Renaissance Faire

When: Saturdays and Sundays, May 9, 10, 16 and 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: 9 Thorne Road, Kingston
Cost: $12 for adults, $10 for active military or veterans, $8 for kids ages 5 to 12, free for children 4 and younger

Return to the Renaissance
New Hampshire Renaissance Faire anticipates its largest fair yet

By Angie Sykeny

Spend the day among knights, nobles and the Queen at the New Hampshire Renaissance Faire happening the next two Saturdays and Sundays (May 9 and 10 and May 16 and 17), from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Kingston. The fair, made to feel like a medieval village, features demonstrations, actors, music, dancing, merchants, jousting and more.

“It’s a great day to bring the family and have a good time,” said Marghi Bean, who runs the fair. “There’s constantly something going on and something to watch or do.”
Bean said this year’s fair will be the largest yet, with new additions to the 35-acre fairground like a larger jousting field and Queen’s stage.
All performances and comedic elements are family-friendly, and there are a variety of activities for kids, including crafts, face painting, a scavenger hunt, Jacob’s Ladder, boffer jousting and other games. Young princesses can have tea with the Queen, and young pages can be knighted by the Queen’s knights.
The fair will have 74 merchants this year, selling a wide selection of handmade goods including jewelry, leather goods, clothing, crystals and stones, soaps, oils, pottery and more. Some will do public demonstrations of their craft, such as letter pressing, weaving, blacksmithing, wood burning and glassblowing.
“To sit there and watch craftsmen who know what they’re doing demonstrate their craft,” Bean said, “that’s what makes the fair vibrant and makes it come alive.”
Attendees can try their hand shooting a bow and arrow at the archery range, participate in traditional maypole dancing, join a game of croquet or take a belly dancing lesson.
In the backfield you’ll find the knights’ camp, where knights will be on hand for photos, answering questions and showcasing their armor and weapons. At two points during the day, the knights will convene on the new and improved jousting field, where they’ll demonstrate a jousting match.
Musicians and actors will wander around the fairgrounds, interacting with attendees in character. Some have scheduled performances to be held at the fair’s five stage areas. At the largest stage, the Queen’s stage, performances revolve around a mysterious plot line that progresses throughout the day.
Andy Jefferson has been an actor in the fair since its first year. His character, Garreth, is part of a three- to four-man comedy group called the Corr Thieves. The group plays a mischievous thieves guild as they wander the fair, interacting with people, and put on an improv-style stage act where the audience chooses what happens in the story.
“We want to make sure the patrons feel like they are part of the act,” Jefferson said. “So we go amongst them and promote our show, and we want to give them an experience, so that they aren’t just coming in and watching and buying. They get to interact and feel like they are a part of it.”
Other entertainment includes a magic show with Dave Anderson Magic, poetry from the wandering bard Brother Sylvan, belly dancing from Shimmynanigans and music from the medieval a capella group Myschyffe Managed.
Bean said the fair gets around 1,000 visitors per day, some who travel from all over New England. A lot of attendees like to dress up in renaissance garb for the fair.
“Patrons come in the most amazing, beautiful costumes,” she said. “You don’t have to, but a lot of people like to, and it’s just fun to walk in from the gate in costume, ready to explore the fair.”
The fair is a charity event, with proceeds going to the New Hampshire Food Bank and Rockingham Meals on Wheels. Many of the performers volunteer their time at the fair.
For Jefferson, the fair is about helping a good cause and giving people a memorable experience.
“It’s a little bit of an escape from modern life,” he said. “Day to day things can bog you down, but an event like this where everyone is smiling and you see things you don’t see every day like people in medieval garb playing characters, it’s a great escape for people to be in a positive atmosphere and laugh and have fun.” 
As seen in the May 7, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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