Magic and merriment: King Richard’s Faire

by Jacob Condo, Staff Writer

Do you feel that urge to dress in fancy clothes and swing a sword about as you shop for mystical items and eat meat off the bone? Then you just might belong at King Richard’s Faire.

For the people of our region of Massachusetts, King Richard’s Faire is as much a part of the fall season as apple picking and the changing of the leaves.

As the weather cools down, now’s a good time as any to attend the renaissance festival which is entering its thirty-fifth year.

For those of you who don’t know who King Richard is, or haven’t a clue as to the nature of a renaissance faire is, allow me to enlighten you.

A renaissance faire is a gathering of people who are enthusiastic about ye olden days, when glory could be found with the tip of a sword and rich people lived in castles.

Knights in shining armor, and lords and ladies strut their stuff among vendors selling hand-crafted goods.

King Richard’s Faire (based out of Carver, MA) is the shining jewel of renaissance fairs in our area, if not the country.

After claiming thy ticket and being led in through the gates, you find yourself walking into a locale unlike any other. Built in the picturesque forest, here you will find a village of shops, salons, and, of course, concession stands.

This quaint little hamlet is filled to the brim with every kind of product you can think of as being associated with medieval fantasy and more. From costumes and armor, to hand-made crafts and weapons, you can bet at least two vendors will happily sell it to you.

While the prices are steep, everything sold is either expertly hand-crafted or finely manufactured.

Make no mistake: everything is worth exactly what you pay for it at this faire. So make sure you walk around once or twice before you commit to buying those cool vambraces you wanted.

Be sure you eat before you spend all your money. After all, what’s a romp in medieval/renaissance times without a feast?

Be prepared to do some math and stand in a ridiculously long line though, because every morsel there costs food tickets which you have to buy.

It’s a bit redundant, but fiendishly clever. You buy these food tickets, which each cost a dollar, but you can’t buy less than five.

That way no matter what increment of five you get, the ticket costs for food will always leave you with just few enough tickets that you have to buy more to get more food.

As long as you keep track of what you’re buying and how many tickets you’ll need, you’ll be sure to enjoy all the turkey legs and mead you can stand.

Not a year has gone by that I haven’t eaten at least two.

While the turkey legs are delicious and the shopping is great, you may be wondering what else there is to keep you entertained besides cosplay enthusiasts and corset cleavage.

Well lucky for you, this little village in the woods is fille to the brim with stages and entertainers, whose job it is to amaze.

While you treat yourself to kettle corn and other snacks, you can watch stunt men and women do everything from stilt walking to fire dancing and everything inbetween.

Some stages will put on little plays with audience participation, while one in particular shows off a collection of big cats.

When you’re not watching a show or taking the little ones on the man-powered rides, you’re always welcome to test your skills with arrows, axes, knives, or throwing stars.

I myself found that I wasn’t too bad of a bowman for a few bucks.

One of the best things to do is to sit around the Tournament Field and watch knights and warriors face each other in live combat.

From the melee to the joust, these events are some of the best entertainment in the faire.

With all of this stuff to do, it’s no wonder that people have flocked to the Carver woods to join in the fun. By far, one of the coolest parts, is dressing up.

For those of us who sadly have yet to construct a costume for ourselves, there’s always the option to rent a costume.

Right next to the gate is a shop of very helpful people who are all-too happy to get you looking your best for the faire.

Are you tall? A bit more to love? Does your bust make bra shopping a pain? Have no fear! These seamsters gleefully accept the challenge, and will get you dressed no matter what.

Costumes not your thing? That’s okay too! There’s no downside to just showing up in your comfy clothes to enjoy the festivities.

With themes and contests every weekend, any trip to King Richard’s Faire is sure to be a unique and magical experience, which you will never forget.

So go on and go the half hour it takes to get there from UMass Dartmouth. Magic and merriment are just a car trip away!

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