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NH Renaissance Faire. Courtesy photo.




Days of old
NH Renaissance Faire returns at new location

05/10/18



 By Angie Sykeny 

asykeny@hippopress.com
 
Relive the days of jousting tournaments, wandering minstrels and dancing around a maypole when the New Hampshire Renaissance Faire returns for the next two weekends. The growing popularity of the event has led it to relocate this year from Three Maples Farm in Kingston to Brookvale Pines Farm in Fremont, but it will feature all the same Renaissance fun like music and theater performances, vendors, demonstrations, jousting and more. 
“It started out very small, but grew and grew,” fair manager Marghi Bean said. “This is our 14th year, and we still have some [fair volunteers and attendees] who have been with us since the beginning, and that’s really cool. It’s like a big family.” 
The New Hampshire Renaissance Faire is unique in that it’s entirely family-friendly. Actors and performers refrain from the bawdy humor typical of the 1400s and 1500s, and there are all kinds of activities for kids and families, including games like Jacob’s Ladder, craft projects, archery, face painting, storytelling and an animal exhibit with exotic fish, birds, reptiles and small mammals. Young ladies can have tea with the Queen, and young pages can be knighted by one of the Queen’s Knights.
For the second year, the fair will also have a family tent with a changing table, books and toys for young children and a place for parents to sit down and take a break from all the excitement.    
“We are a true family fair,” Bean said. “At most [Renaissance] fairs, you don’t see too many kids, but we get a lot of kids here, and that’s something we’re proud of. We try to make it a lot of fun for them.” 
There will be numerous actors and performers roaming the fair, including the Brotherhood of the Arrow & Sword, demonstrating fully armored live steel combat; Celtic minstrel duo The Misfits of Avalon; Brethren of the North East Seas, singing maritime songs; jousting group Les Jeux De Rois; belly dancing gypsies Shimmynanigans; Kate the Storyteller and many others.  
“I think the fun thing about the actors is that a lot of stuff is unexpected and spontaneous,” Bean said. “They have an act that they’re working, but they can work off-the-cuff just as easily. It’s very entertaining in that way.” 
More than 70 merchants and craftspeople will sell a wide variety of goods like period clothing, crystals and precious stones, salves and soaps, pottery and glassware, artwork, jewelry and more, and some will demonstrate weaving, leatherwork, jewelry-making and other crafts. Additionally, a few fantasy authors will be on site selling and signing their books, and service vendors will offer fortune telling and tarot card reading, massage, henna and more. 
“They have almost everything you can imagine that’s geared toward Renaissance things,” Bean said. 
Finally, there’s the food; vendors will sell hot dogs and hamburgers, barbecue, pretzels, nachos, falafel, fries, gourmet cotton candy, kettle corn, ice cream, frozen lemonade and more. 
“We try really hard to have something for everyone,” Bean said. “You can get a decent meal if you’re really hungry, or you can get fun little snacks if you just want to snack.” 
Bean encourages attendees to immerse themselves in the Renaissance atmosphere and leave the modern world behind for a day. For many, that means dressing up in period attire. 
“Even people who come in normal clothing look around and get caught up in the fun of it,” Bean said. “They end up buying a costume and wearing it to the fair the next year.”  





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