One of the questions we get asked the most is: “What made you decide to create a Renaissance Faire in Connecticut”? We could give the really short answer: “do what you love,” but it isn’t terribly interesting and it really doesn’t answer the question that well. While it is true we love Renaissance Faires, the reason we decided to do this goes much further back…
Once upon a time, or as these sort of stories often go, we found ourselves standing at the gates of a Renaissance Faire in another state on a crisp fall day. We were teenagers at the time and had no idea what one of these things was all about. Was it a bunch of people running around in the woods with foam swords? Something we were supposed to come in costume to? Let’s face it: we were skeptical teens and this probably wasn’t our thing.
When the gates opened we flowed into the festival with hundreds of other visitors. Jesters were juggling, minstrels were playing tunes, and smiling performers were there to greet us. It seemed like we had stepped back in time to share a festival day with people from the past!
As the day flew by we played games, shopped, watched a lot of shows, ate turkey legs, got our picture taken with some of the actors, and discovered we could have come in costume if we’d wanted to. Wait. What?!
We couldn’t stop talking about the Faire the entire ride home and we spend the next year creating costumes for our new characters, making wooden swords, learning everything we could about the middle ages, and marking down all the dates we were going to attend the show. Our British accents we’re terrible, but we had even more fun and the King brought us up on the royal dais to watch the joust – that made our trip there even more fun. We never imagined how much more fun things would get once we dressed the part too.
Time passes and we find ourselves opening the gates to our own Renaissance Faire in 1999 at the King’s Inn in Putnam, Connecticut. The show was small with only two stages, a dozen or so enthusiastic performers, some games, a handful of merchants, and a lot of hope. This was an experience we wanted to be able to share with our own children as well as families from around New England.
Despite passing showers and the looming threat of rain all weekend, the crowds wanted to see what the fuss was all about. They were excited and, like us when we were younger, looked forward to returning to the show.
Since the King’s Inn, the Connecticut Renaissance Faire has become a large, regional event that has run at several different locations including the Brooklyn Fairgrounds, Woodstock Fairgrounds, Hebron Fairgrounds and even right next to Dodd Stadium in Norwich.
In 2018, The Connecticut Renaissance Faire will mark its 20th anniversary and it is our hope to find suitable land in the right location to build a permanent village to host the show and further enhance the experience of our guests.