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Student Blog: I'm the Queen of the Castle

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My Day of Escapism at the New York Renaissance Faire

Student Blog: I'm the Queen of the Castle

For the past few years I have had a tradition of driving out to Manheim, Pennsylvania, to spend a day at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. It's been a way for me to forget about the stresses of everyday life during some crazy times. But now that I'm living in New York, I decided it was time to give a new Renaissance Faire a try. The Faire is located in Tuxedo, New York, tucked into the mountains with no good cell service - The perfect place to leave the modern world behind. I was able to take a bus directly from the city to the Faire with my ticket included in a package (a little pricey, but it's a once-a-year event so why not?).

One of my favorite parts about the PA Ren Faire is all of the different merchants, and the NY Ren Faire was no different in that way. I loved exploring all of the wares that the different merchants offered, especially the stunning handmade jewelry! I particularly enjoyed the coin-pressing merchant that made me a necklace in front of my very eyes, printing two different designs on each side of a disc of pewter. Another store that I spent nearly an hour at was the Scentertainment stand, where the merchants sold dozens of different scented products including essential oils, bath bombs, sugar scrubs, and aromatherapy necklaces. I ended up buying one of the necklaces along with the lovely scent of French roast coffee.

Along with the merchants, there were also some great entertainers wandering the streets of the Faire and hosting events like jousts and beautiful displays of flying birds of prey. There was also a hilarious man who would roast guests as they attempted to hit him with tomatoes - And there were some absolutely brutal roasts. And how could I forget? The jousts had a Lady of Chivalry, the first time I had seen a woman on one of the horses during a Renaissance Faire joust! Along with having a Lady on the field there were also some spectacular costumes, particularly the extreme plumage on top of the knight's helmets. Another show that stood out was Cirque du Sewer, a stunt show starring rats, cats, a trained acrobat, and an apprentice. Even though the cats didn't obey all the commands (and to be honest, if you expected a cat to listen, you don't know cats) it was still such a fun time and I enjoyed every second of it.

Something unique about this Ren Faire was that it was the first time I got a full costume (even though it was just a rental). Usually I'd just wear a peasant skirt and some modern top, but being fully immersed with my dress was an experience I will never forget. For a few hours I truly felt like I was living in a fairytale, sitting on thrones and watching jousts to the death. There were some fantastic places for me to get some photos and other Faire-goers were happy to take pictures for me, a solo traveler who refused to take a selfie at a Renaissance Faire. Even though some might call renting a costume at Renaissance Faire a dumb idea and a waste of money, it was something that made me happy and brought me joy - Marie Kondo would be proud. Besides, when else can I say that I got to throw axes and knives while wearing a dress and a flower crown?

Ultimately, the New York Renaissance Faire may not have been as cohesive and theatrical as the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, but it was still a fun experience that allowed me to escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life in New York City. I don't go to Renaissance Faires for stellar acting or a perfect day - I go to spend time in a place where I'm never judged, a place where I can be myself and not have to worry about what others think about me. For one day, even when I'm dressed like a peasant and watching a man get tomatoes thrown at him, I feel like a princess. The sign at the exit of the New York Renaissance Faire says "Caution! Reality Ahead." But as I get ready to start the new school year, I will have fond memories of a day spent as a peasant in the woods, being a part of both history and fantasy.


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From This Author Student Blogger: Kat Mokrynski