The shire comes alive with more than 80 stage and street performances
for seven weekends during the summer. The Queen's procession will
lead you into the 16th century for a day full of adventure. Shakespearian
plays, artisans' demonstrations, delectable victuals and games
of skill await you.As a veteran of the Sterling Renaissance Festival,
I recommend any of the performances at the Mud Pit or Frogge Pond.
Above all, the Joust is the one must-see event. The spectacle
of platemail-clad competitors on horseback knocking each other
to the ground with lances is riveting.
There is one bit of advice I would give to first-time visitors:
plan your time. Familiarize yourself with the map and schedule
provided at the gate and select four or five events to see. Arrive
at the destination of each show at least 15-20 minutes prior to
its listed starting time.
Between shows, take part in the entertainment unfolding around
you. Characters are not limited to written lines delivered on
stage. Remember, the actors are inhabitants of Warwick, behaving
(or misbehaving) in a manner true to their positions in English
You might unknowingly join the unscripted actionswordsmen
may duel for the hand of a lady, urchins will beg for food. Don't
be timid. It's all part of the unconventional street theater at
the heart of the Faire. Have fun with the wenches, minstrels,
shopkeepers and lords.
If nothing else, it is polite to beseech her majesty: "God
save the Queen!" Likewise, you should save some room for
a spinach pie or turkey leg. Granted, not all of the food is authentic
Elizabethan cuisine, but it is delicious. For a treat, order a
Queen's Latrine at the Baked Potato & Fried Foods booth. You
won't find it on the posted menu. It's an "insider"
If you go:
·The Renaissance Festival & Summer Marketplace. 800-879-4446.
Located on Farden Road in Sterling, Cayuga County, less than 90
minutes from Rochester or Syracuse. Open rain or shine, 10 a.m.
to 7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays, July 5 - August 17.
Hal Legg misbehaved behind a concession stand for two seasons
at the Faire. He got his kicks by shouting, "I want all the
STUPID people to line up here, and all the SMART people to line
up over there." And they did.