Monday, April 18, 2016
It is that special time of year again, to live beyond reality and enter a world of myth, legend, and a little history. The New Hampshire Renaissance Faire (NHRF) returns for its 12th year of fantastical whimsy, and wonderful community spirit.
The faire is open for two weekends, Saturday-Sunday, May 7-8, and 14-15, from 10am-5pm each day. Adult admission tickets are $12, kids enter for $8, and children ages 4 and under are free. Tickets are purchased at the fairgrounds, 9 Thorne Rd., Kingston, NH. Admission is cash only and there is an ATM on site for convenience. Free, on-site parking and handicap parking is available.
The Renaissance Faire is a fantastic (and even fantastical) opportunity to spend some quality time with friends and family. Walking amidst queens, pirates, knights, trolls, fairies and the like tends to invoke the imagination that we cherished in our youth. This is your opportunity to live in the fairytale world you read to your children, and invite them to live in it too! Kids love playing dress up, and with all the serious work we adults do, this is a great chance to be carefree too!
The New Hampshire Renaissance Faire is also deeply invested in New Hampshire community, and always donates some faire proceeds to at least one charity. This year’s charities are The NH Food Bank, Rockingham Nutrition Meals on Wheels, and Granite State Arts Academy.
Entering the faire grounds is like walking back in time. Colors bloom, smiles widen, and you are introduced to a number of in-character players from another era. As character, Garreth the Rogue says, “It’s a cracken time!”
Patrons are encouraged to interact with the theatric staff. My own sons revel in the “knighting” ceremony each year. They take a knee before the Queen in her flowing gown, and she knights them while her scribe personalizes their certificates of knighthood.
This year’s fair preparations included the installation of a new, permanent Queen’s stage, and the addition of some new food vendors and an “exotic pets” handler.
Other favorite entertainment includes stage shows, fire dancers, musical performances, jousting, and live steel fighting. Visit the NH.Life Facebook page, to see a video from a past NHRF live-steel demonstration
New Hampshire artists and artisans abound at the NHRF. In addition to faire garb and fripperies, I have also found handmade-in-NH mugs and bowls, leather books and décor, and handmade stuffed animals that benefit The American Cancer Society! The vendor list grows every year, and this year boasts over 45 vendors selling and demonstrating jewelry, leather goods, bath products, weapons and armor, clothing, henna, footwear, and more.
The New Hampshire Renaissance Faire is a sizable affair, growing well every year. The vendors are warm and welcoming with very reasonable prices. Your favorite, period-appropriate foods like turkey-legs, and pulled meats are available and delicious. The staff is lively and boisterous and there are plenty of games, demonstrations, and atmosphere to keep you entertained all day! The New Hampshire Renaissance Faire was listed as “Best in New Hampshire” by New Hampshire Magazine in 2012.
The New Hampshire Renaissance Faire is an inexpensive way to spend some fun and educational time with your friends and family of all ages. Costume is a benefit of faire-going, not a requirement! You can wear your jeans and a t-shirt and have just as much fun as those in boots and a cloak! Plastic-ware is available, you will not be made to eat with your hands (unless you want to), and 20th century dishes are available, including hot-dogs, nachos and creamy NH ice cream! You will not feel out-of-place, rather, you will feel welcomed, into a world centuries old, yet still vibrant and relative today!
Check out these tips for DIY Renaissance Faire Costume Ideas for Men, Women, & Kids
Whether or not you decide to dawn medieval garb, you are certain to enjoy your time at the 2015 New Hampshire Renaissance Faire. They look forward to seeing you at… “the perfect start to faire season!”
The New Hampshire Renaissance Faire is held at Three Maples Farm, and is run and managed by Three Maples Renaissance Corporation as a charitable fundraiser. Among all the vibrant, festive, jollity offered by the New Hampshire Renaissance Faire, one of its most beautiful aspects is its mission toward giving back to the community. For 2016, the faire will benefit The NH Food Bank, Rockingham Nutrition Meals on Wheels, and Granite State Arts Academy.
The NH Food Bank is a program of NH Catholic Charities. This is the only food bank in the Granite State. The NH Food bank hosts a number of operational and educational programs in an ongoing battle against hunger in New Hampshire. Funding and foods donated to the NH Food bank ultimately reach New Hampshire children’s meal programs, elderly meal assistance, food pantries and soup kitchens.
Rockingham Nutrition Meals on Wheels is about more than providing someone a meal. It is about giving someone the means to maintain a healthy, independent living situation. This includes helping them connect with other services they are in need of, keeping watch for even subtle changes that may be a sign of more serious issues to come, keeping family (especially distant family) abreast of any areas of concern, and more.
Granite State Arts Academy is a public chartered high school dedicated to the Arts. GSAA’s mission is to nurture creative thinkers, active citizens, and independent learners with a curriculum that integrates the arts and academics.