Kings, queens, knights and medieval minstrels will be transforming Indian Ladder Farms into a living time capsule bustling with ye ole merriment.
The NY Capital District Renaissance Festival will be held on Saturday, June 14, and Sunday, June 15, at the local orchard, located at 342 Altamont Road in New Scotland, adding a brand-new attraction to the region. The main draw is jousting knights, which is held twice daily, but there are various performances held throughout the day — from magicians and jugglers to Shakespearean plays. There will be plenty of Renaissance-inspired food and souvenirs, too.
• What: NY Capital District Renaissance Festival
• When: June 14 and 15
• Where: Indian Ladder Farms
• How much: $12 for adults, $5 for children ages 3 and up
• Info: nycapitaldistrictrenfest.com
Festival Director Kendall Hudson lives outside of the Capital District, but she grew up in the area and wanted to bring a Renaissance Festival to the region. Hudson previously helped organize a Renaissance festival held annually in New York City.
“There’s a need for this here,” Hudson said. “From the fantasy show ‘Game of Thrones’ to Disney’s ‘The Sword in the Stone,’ people are fascinated with this time period. Why not experience a little of it in person?”
While there are three big Renaissance festivals in the state, the Capital District fell about midway between the others. There is one held in Central New York and the other two are held Downstate.
“People of the Capital District should not have to travel” to attend a Renaissance festival, said festival spokesman Daniel Bader. “We have beautiful scenery. … There is no reason to drive hours to go to something like this.”
Bader said event organizers are expecting the first year to be a little “quiet,” with most festivalgoers coming from within the region. There are some people who have bought tickets though from as far away as Long Island, he said.
“It’s going to be a great weekend,” Hudson said. “Renaissance festivals give people a small sense of what that time period was like. The jousts are a blast, and people really enjoy the shopping and unique food.”
If people want to be more than a casual observer of the time period, there will be a vendor selling medieval costumes and attire. There will even be an artisan that makes watches with chainmail bands.
“We have a lot of vendors coming,” Hudson said. “We have got some very traditional artisans coming in and then we also have some of the more fun stuff like face painting, henna artwork and hair braiding of that period.”
The event also takes advantage of the two days it’s being held. Saturday, there will be a juggling contest, because it’s International Juggling Day. Sunday is Father’s Day, and there will be some specials just for dads.
Food vendors will be selling traditional food choices, with one iconic selection being offered.
“Every Renaissance Festival has to have a turkey leg vendor,” Hudson said. Bader added people will feel like they’re “eating a lamb shank,” because of the size of turkey legs offered.
Alcohol will be offered in a designated area for adults.
Hudson said event organizers are hoping to make this an annual event for the area. Starting a festival from scratch has been difficult, she said, but organizers have appreciated the support they’ve received.
“The community has been really great welcoming us in,” she said.
A complete schedule of events for each day, along with additional information on performers and vendors, can be found on the event’s website at NYCapitalDistrictRenFest.com. There is also a Facebook page for the event.
The festival on June 14 and 15 starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $12 for adults and $5 for children, with 2-year-olds and younger getting in for free. Tickets can also be purchased online though a link on its website.