The New York Renaissance Faire is located in Tuxedo, New York and it will be in its 37th season.  It runs every weekend from the beginning of August to the third weekend in September.  The buildings in which the fair is held are permanent structures used specifically for the purpose of the fair which consists of twenty stages and 100 shops.

There is a great deal of interaction between fair-goers and those who work at the fair.  Often, you’ll find people addressing you in period dialect and cracking bawdy jokes.  Although you can choose to wear modern clothing if you wish, many fair-goers do make an effort to dress in period garb, which adds to the experience.

Entertainment features an archery tournament where nobles and peasants compete for a golden hammer.  Sometimes, traditional flaming arrows are used, and there’s a Robin Hood feel to things as the Shire’s Mayor becomes a target.

Although belly dancers may not have anything to do with Renaissance times, they add to the overall exotic feel of the fair.  The three dancers who performed in 2012 were Gina, Elizabeth and Veldrina who managed to enchant the crowd and draw participants who started dancing themselves.

Then there’s also a carillon which is a musical instrument usually found in the belfry of a church or a municipal building.  It consists of several bells which can be sounded together or separately.  At the fair, the carillon appears to be played by a “spirit,” giving it an otherworldly feel.

Arsene Dupin is a man for all seasons who performs magic, juggles, mimes and performs comedy.

The jousting is attending by Queen Elizabeth and her court, and fair-goers are invited to participate in the Maypole dance.

The music at the fair is spectacular, consisting of The Brigands who play all kinds of pieces from the Golden Age of Piracy (1650-1750) and the Crimson Pirates who play sea tunes for the Queen.  There are also the Crown Madrigals who perform madrigals—secular songs which are sung by groups of two to six.

The fair also features a storyteller who will engage you with his stories, fairies in the Enchanted Forest or on Forest Walk, displays of falconry and a comic nun duo.

Overall, the New York Renaissance Faire will provide you with a unique kind of entertainment, throwing you into a world completely different from our own.  You can choose to merely observe the shows the performers put on for you or you can participate in activities organized by the fair.  Either way, you’re sure to have a magical time.