I love renaissance faires! I have been to faires in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Tuxedo, New York, but I have never been to the one in Sterling, NY (not Sterling Forest, which is in Tuxedo, but the town of Sterling, up by Syracuse).
Every year my friend Erin, who lives up that way, hosts a girls' weekend, which includes manicures, facials, alcohol, and a trip to the faire. This was the first year I was able to go.
One thing people tend to forget about New York State: it's very rural. Once you get out of NYC and past Westchester, you're pretty much in a land of college towns and farm lands.
The view across from the rest stop
The trip took me a little more than five hours, but it was so very worth it!
There weren't as many ladies at Erin's as there are usually for this event, but we still had a great time pampering ourselves with chocolate, movies, food, and sangria.
As our luck would have it, we went to the faire on one of the hottest days of the summer. We thought we were going to die from the heat, but the faire's village, called Warwickshire, was almost completely in shade, which gave the area a nice breeze, and dropped the temperature considerably.
The faire was smaller than that in Tuxedo, which surprised me; I thought it was the other way around. But for a small event they had a lot going on. There were sixteen different locations where events could take place, including musicians, plays, a wenches auction, and the running story line of Queen Elizabeth and her court.
There was a joust, of course, but to me it was a little hokey... more like the Tudors meets the WWE.
But I do give them props for being out there in the heat and mud in full suits of armor!
They had a good array of food and vendors, my favorite being The Handmaiden's Garden
, where I bought way too many soaps and fragrances. Trust me, if you could smell their selection, you'd buy a lot too!
On top of everything else, the place was CLEAN. I don't think I've been to a faire yet that wasn't clean, but you never know. When an event is in the middle of the woods with port-a-privies, something could always go wrong. But this place was spotless and smelled of rain and the woods. It was a nice, peaceful area. I'm also thinking because of the rain the night before and the heat, it was less crowded than it could have been...
Me on the Chastity Bench on the Lovers' Bridge
I had a great time and am very much looking forward to going again next year!