The Hippo


May 28, 2020








Courtesy photo.

New Hampshire Renaissance Faire

When: Saturdays, May 13 and May 20, and Sundays, May 14 and May 21, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: 9 Thorne Road, Kingston (free parking is available at 138 Main St., Kingston)
Cost: $15 for adults, $10 for kids, seniors and veterans, free for kids 4 and under

Reliving the Renaissance
NH Renaissance Faire returns to Kingston for two weekends

By Matt Ingersoll

 For the next two weekends, Marghi Bean’s property in Kingston will be transformed into a medieval village, with jousting knights, costumed performers and merchant vendors.

The 13th annual New Hampshire Renaissance Faire — happening Saturday, May 13, Sunday, May 14, and Saturday, May 20, and Sunday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — is a celebration of medieval times with theatrical performances and artistic exhibitors. It’s also a fundraiser for local food charities like the New Hampshire Food Bank and Rockingham County’s Meals on Wheels program.
“We make it a big deal of being a family fair, and it’s cool because there’s so much to see and you never know what kinds of medieval costumes people are going to be showing up in,” Bean, a board member of the Three Maples Renaissance Corporation and fair organizer, said. “We even have families who come the first weekend with their moms to celebrate Mother’s Day.”
This is the first fair in which free parking will be available at the Kingston Town Common, about a mile and a half from the grounds, with free shuttle buses to take you there.
The 35-acre fairgrounds is dubbed “The Shire of the Three Maples” during each year’s fair. Bean said when visitors enter the gate, they will be given a map and schedule of all there is to see.
“We’ll have everything from jousting knights with live steel combat, to vendors selling original products, and even some demonstrations and a children’s area showing off different things that kids can do, so it really runs the whole gamut,” she said.
More than 65 New England-based vendors are expected to appear at this fair, including several from the Granite State, like Zoo Creatures Pet Store out of Plaistow presenting some of its exotic animals.
Others will include Healing Touch Pottery of Brentwood, showcasing its handmade ceramic cups and mugs.
“There’s a stone in each handle [of the mug], as the handle joins at the top, and I’ve learned as the fair has gone on about how different stones were believed to have different powers for calming or for strength,” Bean said. “So that’s an example of how our vendors try to fit into the theme of the fair.”
A full list of the vendors is available online. Bean said most will be appearing during both weekends, with the exception of a few vendor tents that may get swapped out between each one.
“I would say about 95 percent of all the stuff they will be selling is handcrafted … and it’s everything from clothing to soaps, jewelry, spices and even toys for the kids,” she said.
Costumes are not required, but you might see fairgoers dressed up as all kinds of medieval characters, and sometimes the merchants even dress up too.
Live entertainers will include bands, a cappella singers, comedy acts, magic shows and more. Bean said the showtimes of the performances are spread out, so you can enjoy other ongoing activities like the knight jousting.
The Misfits of Avalon, a group based in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., will make the trip to the Granite State to perform traditional and contemporary Celtic songs on harps, guitars and even hand dulcimers, staying true to the times.
There will also be a few New England fantasy authors coming to the fair to present their books, like Maine author Mary Lawrence. She has penned the the Bianca Goddard mystery series, which takes place during the 1540s in London.
Even the food merchants are local and try to fit into the fair’s theme in their own ways. Vendors will include the Smoke Shack’s mobile concession stand from Lee, Kensington Kettlecorn and Happy Pappy’s Country Store of Rochester, among others. Members of the Kingston Fire Department will also be there serving up barbecue.
“[The grounds] really is the perfect area for a fair like this, because we’re surrounded by woods and trees, and there are no commercial buildings in sight,” Bean said. “You really do get the feel of a medieval village here.” 

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