Once again this year I had the opportunity to attend King Richard’s Faire in exchange for telling you all about my experience. The 2017 King Richard’s Faire in Carver, MA is open until Sunday, October 22nd so you still have time to go! If you missed last year’s post, you can check it out here—I’ll wait. Back? Awesome!
2017 King Richard’s Faire
Attending King Richard’s Faire was different in many ways this year. To start, we got out of Boston a bit earlier and made it to the Faire by just after 11 a.m. (doors open at 10:30 a.m.). Getting there several hours earlier meant that we had more time to do things we missed out on last year. Of course, that was also helped by the fact that we had a year under our belts and knew what we wanted to do.
The most important thing to do when you first arrive at King Richard’s Faire is to get food and drink tickets. You can’t use cash at any of the food or drink stands, so this really is a must. Tickets are sold in lots of $5 and an entire sheet is $40. To give you some perspective, mead was 8 tickets and food ranged from 5-15 tickets, depending on what you wanted. There are other alcohol choices as well, including champagne, beer (including gluten-free), and cider. But nothing says King Richard’s Faire like a cup of mead!
King Richard’s Faire Jousting
With mead in hand (options for both warm and chilled, so we tried both) and full bellies (I started my day with a sausage with peppers—no bun—and a side of fries), we were off to the jousting! There are multiple jousting matches throughout the day and last year we caught the very last one.
This year it was a nice change of pace to see the first match of the day. It really set the tone for the rest of our time at the faire. Corny jokes, people speaking in medieval English, and beautiful horses were just a few of the highlights of the jousting.
We were in the fan section for Sir Joseph (seen here in red and green, all the way to the right) and enjoyed cheering him on through all sorts of events. Not only did the knights attempt to knock each other off their horses (that’s what you think of when I say jousting, right?) they also competed in non-combat events.
I have to tell you, I’m 100 percent confident I wouldn’t be able to accurately get rings with a jousting lance at a gallop on a horse, no matter how long I trained. The theatrics were enjoyable for everyone in the audience, from the smallest kids to oldest adults. Over-the-top, but fun for sure.
Witches and wishes
After a bit more wandering around, including watching a young lynx playing with a young bobcat (seriously, so cute!), we made our way to The Flying Carousel. We would later learn that The Flying Carousel’s swings mimicked a measuring tool used to determine witches in olden days. Let’s just say that my two friends who rode The Flying Carousel didn’t vomit (a sure sign of being witches, hmmm).
After they recovered from their trip around The Flying Carousel, our group went to the Faerie Circle. This was by far my favorite part of the faire—a place for weaving wishes alongside the other faire-goers. It was a remarkable part of the faire, with people playing instruments and dancing nearby.
The amount of energy being raised near the circle was truly powerful. I’m certain more than one of us was wishing for peace in this crazy world we’re currently living in. Let’s hope the faeries were in a wish-granting mood rather than their all-too-common trickster mood as I was weaving my wish into the circle.
Escape from the dungeon
After leaving the faerie circle, we spotted the Dragonwick Castle and decided that for $2 per person, it was totally worth the price of admission. With everything from a Chair of Spikes (where it wasn’t sitting there that would kill you, it was the resulting tetanus) to our friendly Witches Cradle that was mimicked in The Flying Carousel, plus so many more, the torture devices on display were certainly interesting (and creepy) to say the least.
Of course, what trip to a castle dungeon is complete without getting stuck in a cage yourself? At King Richard’s Faire, you too can lament being captured by the people who just don’t understand you.
We’re so lucky that these days people aren’t persecuted just because people don’t understand or agree with what they do or say—oh wait.
From there we made our way through many of the vendors at the faire. We looked at everything from jewelry to hand forged blades to clay pottery. One of my friends got some amazing earrings, while I purchased an amazing leather-bound journal from Earthbound Leathers. It’s huge and has a gorgeous imprint of the tree of life on the back.
We also stopped by the Avalon Apothecary where I picked up some Angelica Root, Rosemary, and Horehound. A girl can never have too many herbs!
Fun and games
While we didn’t take part in any games last year, this year I wanted to join the fun. While I considered axe throwing and archery, I decided to start with something a little more innocuous and save the more—ahem—aggressive games for next year. Instead, I tried the mug slide.
For the mug slide, I slid a pewter mug down a long chute. The goal was to get the mug to land exactly within a red circle. If any part of the mug was touching another part of the circle, it didn’t count. Though other colors did come with prizes.
I ended up with the prize of being twice-knighted, but the very nice woman running the game offered me a deal. I could either accept my two-times-knighting, or I could exchange them for a hat. The answer, if you’re wondering, is always a hat. Of course, with my Ravenclaw headband in honor of the Harry Potter themed day at the faire (and the flower crown I had on earlier in the day) I ended up not actually wearing my hat while I was there.
After another pitstop for food (this time I got a bowl of chili), I once again found myself a bit confined, this time to the stocks.
Hogwarts at King Richard’s Faire
Once I managed to finally escape (again), we finished our day by watching the Harry Potter trivia and costume contest. Last year we were there for the Hunks in Kilts contest, so this was certainly a change of pace. The contest is aimed toward kids 12+ but fun to watch as an adult as well. The kids we encountered loved the Harry Potter spirit of our group. Not only was I wearing my Ravenclaw headband, I also had on Golden Snitch jewelry and a Ravenclaw-blue dress. My friend was also wearing her Golden Snitch necklace with a Marauder’s Map shirt and Harry Potter skirt.
As much as I loved what we were wearing, it was nothing compared to the kids who came in full regalia. We encountered more than a few little Harry Potters, but just as frequent were the witches and wizards who were house-loyal, but happy to be themselves. Dresses, hair bows, robes, and just about everything you could imagine in their full-blown Hogwarts best. It was such a fun way to end the day.
King Richard’s Faire takeaways
Whether or not you’ve been to King Richard’s Faire before, you should definitely check it out in what remains of the 2017 season. It’s an easy trip from Boston, between an hour and 90 minutes depending where you’re coming from and traffic. There’s also really something for everyone. Even though I’ve been two years in a row now, there’s still so much more I want to see and do. I’m sure that even if you’ve been there before, there’s plenty you haven’t seen or done.
I definitely recommend you bring cash with you because it will speed things up. Some vendors don’t accept cards at all. There are ATMs within the faire, but bringing cash will leave you with more time not standing in lines.
Lots of people at the faire are in full Renaissance costume, but many others come in their everyday clothing. Don’t feel like you can’t go just because you don’t want to dress up.
There are only two weekends remaining for the 2017 King Richard’s Faire. October 14 is a day for royalty, with guests encouraged to dress as kings and queens. The Wee Ones Parade for kids 11 and under is that same day. October 21 is the Fantasy Finale with a Halloween costume contest for the record books.
So get your tickets and get to King Richard’s Faire before the 2017 season is over. Huzzah!