Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

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Sterling Renaissance Festival

Saturday August 6, 2016                                                             Most Recent Posts:
Cayuga Lake State Park                                                               Final River Paddle is a Great One
Seneca Falls, New York                                                               Seeing the Village from the Water



Today is our last day in this area and we decide to head up north 38 miles to Sterling to be part of their Renaissance Festival.  Those who know me, know I love to  dress up so Renaissance Festivals are right down my alley.  That said, I’ve only ever been to the one closest to me in Maryland so I’m interested to see how they are in other parts of the country.  Unfortunately I did not make room in Winnona for my “dress up” clothes so today I have to go as a tourist rather than a towns person.

It’s a beautiful day and folks are gathering outside the city gates when we arrive.  If you want the full effect of a renaissance faire you must be there before it “opens” to hear the greeting from the mayor, perhaps to welcome the King or Queen visiting the town,  and for sure to see the cannon fire.  Or at least they did those things here as well as in Maryland.

Just before opening, the mayor of the city and his family welcome everyone from the top of the city gates.  Most festivals have a summer cast of between 35 and 40 actors who play parts all day long in skits and just walking around town.  There is always a group of “royals”, in this case Queen Elizabeth’s Court.


The Lord of Warwick, owner of the castle is in attendance to greet the Queen.  He sure looks the part.  Love the moustache.




There are the villagers of the town, in this case it is Warwick in 1585.


Many Renaissance Festivals have “theme” week-ends I guess for those who like to dress up in something else.  Pirate week-ends are common as are Fairy week-ends.  This is Fairy Week-end and we see lots of women, children  and a few men sporting wings.  A fairy is in the ticket line in front of us.


She seems to have a yeoman with sword and shield as her companion.  A jester leans against the city wall.


The young Knight and his Lady sister seem to have their eyes closed.  Perhaps they are making wishes.


As we head into the gates I see two bananas.  You just never know what you’ll see here.



Just inside the gate are the costume shops where for coin of the realm you too can dress the part.


Or you can rent a costume for the day.



You can have your hair done, mostly intricate french braiding.



We wander through the upper shire to the Festival Stage to greet Queen Elizabeth who, unlike King Henry and his wife of the year in Maryland, does not enter town on horseback through the gates of the city.


Others have gathered.



Merry making is going on.


Singing too.



The Earl of Warwick welcomes us all and introduces the Queen





Musicians lead her down the path.


She comes on the arm of Sir Walter Raleigh.  There always was a lot of talk about those two.



Elizabeth, with her court behind her, addresses her subjects.



An emmisary from the Spanish embassador asks the Queen to come for a wine tasting. 





She is shocked that the Ambassador would expect her to come to him but ultimately agrees to go.



Off she and her court and muscians go.








We wander around the town and pass by the lavender shop where the propriatress has lavender hair. David heads for the pub to see just what sort of “craft beer” is available in 1585.








The Festival opened at 10am and the Entertainment Schedule runs from the 10:15 Queens Greeting until the 6:30 Final Pub Song.  There are 16 venues where something is going on for most of the hours of the day.


Since we are in the Lower Shire Bogge’s Area we wander over to the Moon Star Stage where we find the Spanish Ambassador’s emissary moonlighting with Don Juan as Miguel.  It’s a full house for this comedy sword fight show.





Don Juan is apparently a pirate



The last act is a sword fight in which Don Juan is blindfolded by a member of the audience who has tried on his blindfold to attest that he cannot see.  These look like real swords.



There are several old fashioned man-powered rides at the Festival.  Two guys make these swings spin out.



Well this is a sight.  Wonder what the guys inside thought about having a banana next to them.



I think fantasy lovers of all sorts attend Renaissance Festivals.  Not sure what this shoulder creature is but adults and children are wearing them.  If you know what it is and what show/movie/book it comes from, please tell us.  I have a feeling I’m way out of date on this one.

There are fairy wings,  large and small, everywhere.







Looks like those wings might be weighting him down.  Don’t think I’ve ever seen a fairy or a dragon fly or whatever dressed in Scottish Plaid.  That’s what makes these Faires so much fun.  You just never know what you will see.



Now I’m really confused.  Helicopter?


This unique bridge is lined with special benches on both sides.





Each bench is different.  This is the Bench O’ Passion. 



At one point a sweet young thing just walks up and sits down without reading.  Her young companion abruptly turns away.  It is seriously too funny.



Other benches are the Proposal Bench
“Set thy knee upons this mark and ask thy Love to wed,
And ere Summer’s harvest thou shalt take thy marriage bed
And The Chastity Bench,
“If thou should’st sit upon this bench then thou shalt be an untouched wench”,
among others but the most used appeared to be the Broken Heart Bench.




There are many other things including the artisans and the food and additional no-machine-rides along with musicians which we see in the afternoon but that will be in Part II of the 40th Annual Sterling Renaissance Festival.  HAZZAH!


  1. I know you wished that you had your costume!


  2. I can't imagine wearing those costumes as I'm sweating in the heat and humidity - though some of the fairies look cooler and could maybe fan themselves with their wings :)

  3. That is quite something to take in. I've seen these in photos, but have never attended any of it.

  4. That is a nice permanent caravel set they have there. Nice to see.

  5. Looks like a good one:) We enjoy going to them but have never thought of going in period outfits:)

  6. I have never been into fantasy or playing dress-ups, so I would be right behind David heading for the pub! It's a shame you didn't have your costume with you - maybe you will find a place for it in your future travels. You never know when you'll run into a good Rennaissance Festival!

  7. Looks like they did a good job with it...interesting costumes! Bananas though? Lol! Looks like a decent space they have like in MD. Glad you got to go :)

  8. Hassah! Fairies are the best - although a lot of wings can be a challenge when the crowd is large :-) Love the plaid "wings"!! Looks like a wonderful location among the trees, hopefully it helped keep it a bit cooler. I don't know what the little critters are but have seen them at faires in the past. Looks like there's a big faire in Carver, MA I might be able to get to in Oct - you've reminded me how much I enjoy them!!

  9. Every time you post about a Renaissance Faire, I get a pang in my heart. Such great memories of time spent at the PA Ren Faire with my youngest son. I remember seeing that creature on the shoulders of people, not sure if it's anything specific, but lots of them for sale. Huzzah! :)

  10. Scottish plaid wings, now where do people come up with ideas like that? I think they'd look great on David... ;c)

  11. Always a blast! Thanks for introducing me to all the fun of a Renaissance Festival! I also enjoy the little bit of historical information I pick up at these fairs.

  12. Looks like you had a wonderful time—but you must have missed your beautiful costume. So fun to see all of the fairy wings—but the bananas?? I think they took a wrong turn somewhere. :-)

  13. I've only been to one Renaissance Faire and would really like to attend more. Especially in costume.

  14. You must bring your costume with you at all times,


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