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King Richard’s Faire: How the Ren Faire Became a Family Favorite

Renaissance fairs happen all over the country every fall giving families the opportunity to get a little silly and have fun. The first time I attended one was back when I was in college. My boyfriend convinced me to go and I even rented a costume. He had one because he’s simply that much of a nerd. Now that boyfriend is my husband and we share the fun with our two girls who wouldn’t miss it for the world.

The first few years they went it was all about Disney princess dresses. Yes, yes, these aren’t exactly authentic period costume, but who cares? Half the fun of a ren faire is that you can dress up in any kind of old-timey costume you choose. Victorian, medieval, renaissance, fictional, or real – anything goes at the ren faire.

Now my girls are teenagers and I’ve harbored a growing fear that they’d turn up their noses at the idea of getting dressed up for the ren faire. What if it wasn’t cool? What if they didn’t want to go? My worries turned out to be completely unfounded.

Heading down to King Richard’s Faire in Carver, Massachusetts is now the highlight of the fall. The idea of trick-or-treating is now too little kid, but dressing up in their carefully created costumes is something they look forward to at the faire. It’s been years of collecting pieces from skirts to corsets to fuzzy fox tails and leather gauntlets. They love King Richard’s and have a great time browsing the shops, picking out their latest costume additions, and watching the shows.

On our list of must-see entertainment is the joust, which is ridiculous and wonderful. I don’t think we’ve ever been on the side of the winning knight, but we still cheer our little hearts out for him with the gathered crowds. It’s fun to sit there having fun with your kids as if you were a kid again, too.

We’re also big fans of Jacques ze Whipper. He’s funny and his act involves a whip on fire. He could die at any moment in a horrific ball of flame. Not that we want that to happen because he’s one of our favorite parts of the faire, but imminent danger makes for fantastic entertainment.

I was worried King Richard’s would lose its appeal for the girls. They’re firmly done with Halloween so it seemed like this might be on the way out, too. Instead, the reverse happened. They joyfully dressed up for the day and couldn’t wait to go. According to my youngest, “This is my Halloween, but without having to wander around in the cold getting candy I might not even like.”

Works for me.


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