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Potters, Glass Blowers, Musicans, Food HAZZAH!

Saturday August 6, 2016                                                          Most Recent Posts:
Cayuga Lake State Park                                                            Sterling Renaissance Festival
Seneca Falls, New York                                                            Final River Paddle is a Great One



The previous post, in blue above, contains the first part of our visit to the Sterling Renaissance Festival.  This post will make more sense if you have read the first one especially if you like to see rides that use no machine power, a magic bridge with wishing benches, Queen Elizabeth of England and a pair of walking bananas.


Back to the 40th Annual Sterling Renaissance Festival where we are here having a wonderful time in the village of Warwichshire in 1585.

There are many artisans plying their trades here. We watch this potter and the glass blower but my very favorite is the book binder.



It really is amazing to watch her make those vases in front from start to finish. She is quite an artist.  She uses hammers, files and all sorts of tools to deal with that hot molten glass.  Luckily it is a beautiful day so the heat of the day doesn’t add to what must be a very hot job.




The book binder is making blank books with leather covers by hand using 16th century equipment. If I had anything worthy of such a gorgeous book I would love to have one.   One sign on the wall over the finished book displays says
These books be clean…
Art Thy Hands?





I wonder if these are the studios of craftsmen too. We’d need to be in Wonderland to go through these doors but they sure are cute.  Fairy houses no doubt or Alice’s rabbit hole or Mole’s place or……any other ideas?



There is a huge variety of foods that come to you or you go to them.   Pretzels anyone?




Or apple dumplings with ice cream?




The biggest line seems to be for the “stuffed spuds”. Coincidentally it is the least expensive option as well and possibly one of the only things not fried though you can load it up with the fat toppings of your choice depending on your status.






Were Fryed Cheese Curds a Renaissance specialty? This horned woman steps up to get hers. Fryed Cheese Curds, really???  This isn’t even Wisconsin but it is up up state New York.




Of course there are several pubs complete with comely maidens to pour
your brew and sell you the goblet in which to drink it.


                   And plenty of sweets.IMG_4761_thumb4



Last post showed the non-motorized swings but there are other rides as well.  An apt name – Giant Slide. 




A dragon boat



And the Crow’s Nest, a variation on the swings from last post. This one also has two men winding it up the pole and then one of them hops aboard and does acrobatics while it flies through the air. All of these are pretty clever man powered rides. I have never seen them before.

It starts out like this. The gate is open, the stairs are out, you climb in.



They close the gate, move the stairs and push it around to get it all wound up.



When the operators let go and get out of the way, one of them hops aboard.



I guess he was a gymnast in a former life.



We watch comedy acts, drama and music. This group is called Wolgemut billed as “ancient bagpipes and bombastic drums”. They perform on period instruments and in what I guess are German Renaissance costumes.  The trombone looking thing is a sackbut.






It’s definitely high energy music.



The piper is great.






Cantiga, on the other hand, are a trio of harp, viola da gamba and flute playing Renaissance and Medieval melodies. Much more soothing and lovely.



The instruments are lovely and the player’s not bad either.



Almost as interesting as the music are the folks we see in the audience with us.  The music may be putting them all into a trance.






The group, Jim Hancock & Friends, starts their musicians out  amazingly young!




We’re winding up our afternoon as we walk by the Village Laundry. Looks like everyone uses the community water.




She doesn’t look like her mind is on her laundry.



Just across from the wash area is the jousting arena. Right now it is offering horse back rides on the big horses.





The mother of this little girl says that riding this horse is all she’s wanted to do all afternoon. She wasn’t the last bit afraid even the very first time. She walked right up to this huge animal and was lifted onto its back. Guess we know what she’s going to ask Santa for Christmas.




On our way we see a falconer or she a falconess? I”m sure they do shows but we’re just passing by and I’m not comfortable with captive raptors.  I want to see them sailing free not flying back to your arm.





We’re in the Upper Shire near the town fountain when I decide to sit a spell and just watch the people. There are many things to do and see and try and eat but the best of all is just the people watching.



You reallly just never know what you’ll see. I mean bananas?  Really?  Who are the guys on the left? They must be some particular charcters   Pretty sure I know who the gal on the right is although her shoes don’t fit.  Clearly, none of these is medieval garb.  I haven’t been to a Ren Faire that’s as much of a “costume party” as this one.





I looks like Merlin is going to get his picture taken by creating a flourish.



He definitely looks the part.



I was watching this “maiden” thinking “boy that’s some outfit” when I noticed who she was watching.





The details on all these costumes are really amazing.








There are all kinds of couples.

I’m now wondering if these are fairies or butterflies I’ve been seeing everywhere all day.





Robin Hood and Little John?



I’d like to take in the last show here at thir new theater but it’s really time for us to go.
I don’t want to be here until the “last call” since gettin out of the parking lot will be a real treat.




This is how I feel after a great day. I’m not sure this a real Scotsman. Look what he’s wearing under his kilt.



One last look back at the fun everyone is having.



It’s the 40th Year for the Sterling Renaissance Festival.
They have definitely learned how to put on a good party where they welcome all comers.
I’ll be keeping my eye out for other Renaissance Faires as we head on down the road.



  1. That really does make for a fun day- terrific shots!

  2. You're having entirely too much fun. Too bad you can't bottle some of the fun and save it for a rainy day... :cD

  3. Great festival. We met a professional potter at the Winnebago annual rally. He has been doing this for 40 years and has taught people from around the world this art. Very interesting guy:)

  4. Looks like great fun. Someday maybe you can get back out west to the Oregon Country Faire near Eugene. Truly amazing, and maybe not quite as authentic as this one, but some wonderful stuff to see there too.

  5. I'm not sure if you are still in NY since your blog is a month behind, but Corning Glass Museum is a wonderful place. They have at least four different glass blowing demonstrations, glass experiments, the glass museum, and you can blow your own glass piece. During holidays the glass pieces are themes like pumpkins for Halloween. We LOVE visiting this place and see all the demonstrations. Corning isn't too far from where you were. Cheese Curd is a specialty in certain areas of NY along the St Lawrence. It is much better than anything we had in Wisconsin and quite different in it shape and texture. I would love to have that pretzel rack!! Yum!

  6. Everyone looks like they are having a great time. I still think I'd spend most of my time at the pub!

  7. I am so glad you are enjoying yourselves in NY. Here is a blog post of my family adventure at the very same summer fun.Link http://wendystriplog.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-sterling-renaissance-festival.html (Please delete if this is not appropriate.) I LOVE to get a view from others of places that I too have been.

  8. Great costumes there! Your photos were great!! People really do get into it...fun for all! The man powered rides are unique. I like the picture of you on that big bench :)

  9. For not having your regular Renaissance Faire costume, you fit right in :) We love cheese curds, and never knew you could get them fried!

  10. Looks like a wonderful experience. Sure beats packing!

  11. Looks like you are having great fun! So much packed into the day.

  12. What great fun! As always, your pictures are wonderful, but it's your narrative that takes your readers along with you. You have such talent.

  13. That's quite the festival! The costumes are incredible—people must attend year after year to have such elaborate costumes. Even if you didn't have your usual renaissance fair finery with you, you looked great in your purple skirt.

  14. The piper was easy on the eyes but some people should not be wearing tutus.....

  15. I too love to watch glass blowing, and would love to see the book binding. I used to have gorgeous leather journals....loved the smell of them :-) Wonderful people watching - thanks for sharing the fun! I always wonder how so many have learned to play the "older" instruments, or perhaps they aren't much different than our current ones - still, the regalia makes it even better. Definitely a great Merlin. And oh little girls and big horses, so very wonderful.


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