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Jessica is the NH.com Editor and Producer. She has a BA in Creative Writing from Chester College of NE, and a M.Ed. specializing in Adult Education from Plymouth State University. She is happily married and a proud mama of two perfect little boys and is motivated to alert New Hampshirites to the hottest goings-on in the state. Her interests include cracking the spine of a good book, writing, painting and cuddling with her babies on the sofa while some terrible reality TV hums in the background.
NH Renaissance Faire Celebrates 10 Years Of Charity & Family Fun: Win Tickets!
Thursday, May 1, 2014
A New Hampshire family-favorite, the New Hampshire Renaissance Faire, is singing, dancing, and jousting its way into a decade of educational, visual, and theatrical merriment! The 2014 season marks the tenth anniversary of this fantastical event, and promises to be the biggest, best season yet!
The faire is open for two weekends, Saturday-Sunday, May 10-11, and 17-18, from 10am-5pm each day. Adult admission tickets are $12, kids enter for $8, and children ages 4 and under are free. Active military and veterans with IDs receive a $2 discount. Tickets are purchased at the faire grounds, 9 Thorne Rd., Kingston, NH. Admission is cash-only and there is an ATM on site for convenience. Free, on-site parking and handicap parking is available.
The New Hampshire Renaissance Faire is held at Three Maples Farm, and is run and managed by Three Maples Renaissance Corporation as a charitable fundraiser. Among all the vibrant, festive, jollity offered by the New Hampshire Renaissance Faire, one of its most beautiful aspects is its mission toward giving back to the community. Three Maples Farm property owners, Bob and Marghi Bean, still fondly recall the faire's infancy. Marghi says, "When we first were approached to hold a faire we thought it would be a one-time event. My best memory of the first faire was breaking down in the dark with car headlights illuminating the merchant area. There were probably ten merchants. Shannon McCracken Barber, who had dreamed up this small event in six weeks, called for a circle meeting at the end and everyone made a comment about the faire. My comment was that I thought it would just be work but what I had found was friends." The first faire was a single-weekend event, and hosted fewer than 300 patrons. It has since grown to a two-weekend affair, and saw about 4,000 patrons last year. "It is Theatre In The Round," Marghi asserts. "It feels so good to give the money to charities that need it desperately and use it so well. Money for charities is our mission, and it makes the work seem easy." This year's NHRF charities are the New Hampshire Food Bank and Rockingham Meals on Wheels.
Entertainment at The New Hampshire Renaissance Faire
Entering the faire grounds is like walking back in time. Colors bloom, smiles widen, and you are introduced to a number of in-character players from another era. As character, Garreth the Rogue says, "It's a cracken time!"
Patrons are encouraged to interact with the theatric staff. My own sons revel in the "knighting" ceremony each year. They take a knee before the Queen in her flowing gown, and she knights them while her scribe personalizes their certificates of knighthood. Evy, NHRF plot director and Queen, attests "I have lived in various parts of the country and have visited and worked at many faires both in the states and abroad and this is my favorite faire by far. This will be my seventh year working with the faire and my sixth year as Queen." She identifies her faire peers as a large family, and says her favorite memories come from patron-interaction. "I love the kids at the faire and interacting with them keeps me coming back as Queen year after year. I even skipped my own college graduation one year to be at this faire."
Other entertainment includes stage shows, fire dancers, musical performances, live steel fighting, and a jousting event added just last year. Corr Thieves Actor, Andy Jefferson, says "My wife and I have been part of this faire in some way or another since its creation and even owe our marriage to it! We love it and are at home here." Jesse Bolin, also a Corr Thieves actor, remembers, "I wasn't sure I was really cut out for acting in renaissance faires when I started. Andy convinced-forced-me to try it out, and I fell in love with it. I've been involved with NHRF since 2008, and being a part of creating the environment and giving so much to charity has been an amazing privilege. I look forward to another amazing ten years!"
Shopping at The New Hampshire Renaissance Faire
New Hampshire artists and artisans abound at the NHRF. In addition to faire garb and fripperies, I have also found handmade-in-NH mugs and bowls, leather books and décor, and handmade stuffed animals that benefit The American Cancer Society! The vendor list grows every year, and this year boasts over 45 vendors selling and demonstrating jewelry, leather goods, bath products, weapons and armor, clothing, henna, footwear, and more. Faire Manager, Marc Bernier, started out as a vendor, "I was the only merchant in what is now the Encampment field. It was me and a man running a children's game. I am amazed how much we have grown."
NHRF Merchant Coordinator, Meghan Madan adds, "I only started working for this Faire two years ago and it's already become my home. Everything in the atmosphere at this event welcomes you with open arms, whether you dress up or not. Such a great Faire!"
Merchant, Donna Viau, has seen her whole family grow into this faire. Her three sons and husband have joined her either as merchants, actors, or entertainers at the event. "It's become quite a family affair in our house," Donna says. "I also like being able to help out our charities with gate proceeds and also as a merchant. When the founder of the faire decided to step down and let others take over four years ago; I was quick to step up to the plate and offer my services. I didn't want to see this great event close its doors! I'm very proud to be able to help out my community in such a fun way, and hope to continue doing so as long as the faire exists."
Renaissance Faire Ticket Giveaway
Queen Evy proclaims, "I am excited for our 10th year, and I believe it will be better than ever!" NH.com would like to offer your family a chance to meet her and the rest of the NHRF crew. We are giving away family-four-packs of New Hampshire Renaissance Faire tickets. If you are interested in winning tickets, follow the contest instructions on our Spring Fun Page. Random winners will be drawn on Monday 5/5 and 5/12. Huzzah!