Renaissance Faire in Orange County open through September
GalleriesRenaissance Faire in Tuxedo Park
If you want to time-travel this weekend, it only requires having enough gas in your car to get you to Tuxedo Park in Orange County, where the New York Renaissance Faire will kick off its 36th season on Saturday, Aug. 3.
With games, rides, crafts, food, music and dance inspired by the 16th century, the Elizabethan event will be held, rain or shine, in Sterling Forest from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., every Saturday and Sunday from Aug. 3 to Sept. 22, as well as Labor Day, Sept. 2.
Wanda Carr, a spokeswoman for the fair, has advice for those who are interested in attending the event for the first time.
"Get here when we open, because we have an opening-gate performance that's very quaint and lovely," Carr said this week. "It really makes you feel like you're stepping back in time."
Well, once you get past the ATM at the front gate, that is. But once past that point, the trees become an enchanted forest in which visitors will find a chessboard with humans as the game pieces, camel rides, meditation gardens, a music pavilion, a tournament field and a maypole.
Throughout the faire, entertainment abounds. Acrobats, singers, jugglers, jousting knights, pirates, storytellers, magicians, bartenders and vendors will be among more than "1,000 costumed characters" showcasing their talents at Tuxedo Park, according to Carr. And they tend to stay true to their roles.
"You can't drink out of a water bottle if you're a costumed character," Carr said.
Visitors also can join a wide variety of rides and games from eras gone by. Sure, archery remains an Olympic event, but where else can the athletically inclined compete in an ax-throwing competition?
For those who forgot their suits of armor, cloaks and corsets at home -- or never had them to begin with -- attendees can rent costumes to immerse themselves in the experience from head to toe. For little more than the price of a movie ticket, they can feel like they're in a movie, Carr said.
"That's just the amazing thing about the way this fair operates -- it's about the experience you choose to have," she added.
IF YOU GO
What: New York Renaissance Faire
When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays, Aug. 3-Sept. 22 and Labor Day (Sept. 2), rain or shine
Tickets: Admission is $20 for adults, $10 for children ages 5-12 with advance purchase online; $22 for adults and $11 for children 5-12 at the gate; group, senior and military admission discounts available; ride and game costs vary
Parking: Free for regular lot, $5 for preferred spots
Info: Sterling Forest, 600 Route 17A, Tuxedo Park, 845-351-5171; www.renfair.com/ny