Deep in the woods of Carver, MA lays a magical and wonderful realm. For the past 37 years on 80-acres of wooded forest sits King Richard’s Faire, where the past comes alive and guests and performers and vendors alike can put away the worries of the modern world and step into a medieval land of fun and merriment.
Starting on Labor Day weekend and running until the weekend of the 20th of October, including Columbus Day weekend, the past comes alive and like the past 38 seasons, a small swarth of Carver becomes Carvershire, the land of the good King Richard.
I have been going to KRF for over 3 decades, off and on, and I have never had a bad time there. Having been in my normal street clothes and also decked out in period-esq garb, I can say that there is no wrong way to enjoy KRF.
I think what has contributed to the longevity of the event is the cheery folk that make up the performers and the vendors and the gamesfolk. Their all inclusive joy and excitement of just being there is contagious and that not only rubs off on the guests who visit but I think it carries over to the worlds in which they return too once their visit is over.
So much of the world building had not changed and yet so much has changed. There is still the pickle vendor, the forgers and blacksmiths, the Mud Show, the wenches, The Jacob’s Ladder (which will forever remain the bane of my existence), The artisans, the clothiers, and of course the King himself and his lovely Queen. And of course the jousting contests throughout the day and that ends the day with a Champion being declared.
Sure, the actors and actresses playing the King and his myriad courtesans may change however they love and the high-spirited energy and frivolity they bring remains the same. Other changes that have occurred and that have helped with the longevity of KRF is their ability to adapt to the times.
When I visited this past weekend it was “Game of Thrones” themed weekend. The weekend previous was “Harry Potter, Witchcraft & Wizardry” weekend. The upcoming weekends are “Clash of the Tartans” Celtic and Highland hunks and then “Invaders weekend” Pirates and Vikings and More, Oh My! The ability of the Faire to adapt to the current pop culture trends is one of the reasons this world survives.
In addition to the newly anointed King Richard XI newest Monarch of the realm, the enchanted forest of Carvershire welcomes The Accidental Acrobats, an extremely flexible duo that will wow audiences with their contortions and skills.
The audience participation, comedy act of Sir Guy will leave you in stitches. You won’t want to miss Gogaucho, as they bring exciting dance, pounding music, hilarious comedy, tricks and amazing skills to the stage. There will be live music from Moon Chariot and the talented Scottish bagpipe playing of Portland & District Pipers.
If it is food you are excited about, all the usual fares are available from the boule bowl of chowder to the ever popular turkey leg and shepherd’s pie. There is even gluten-free and vegetarian, and lactose-free options available for those who require it.
It doesn’t matter if you dress up in period appropriate garb, or if you show up as an Avenger, Batman, a Furry, or anything really. They are all inclusive. Their only caveat is that you have fun, respect other faire-goers, and the property itself. This is what I love about this place. This past weekend I stood in line behind Mr. Incredible, while my wife, in period garb, purchased a glass of mead. Like I said, anything goes here and it is fantastic.
This year I was able to attend with some close friends and it was wonderful. What made it even more so was the fact that I ran into so many other friends as we roamed the grounds. Left and right more and more of my ever growing friends appeared and by the end we had a pretty large crew.
All in all we were twenty-five strong and because there is so much to do we were able to break off into smaller groups and do the things we all wanted to do and yet still run into each other throughout the day for hugs and laughs. We were able to cheer on our friends who participated in the various “Game of Thrones” themed events like the trivia contest, the costume contest and the hilarious “Battle for the Throne”, a musical chairs style game that got a little more hilariously cutthroat then I thought it would.
I am always surprised when a person I meet has never heard of King Richard’s Faire. I always see the giant billboard coming out of Boston on 93S and the ads on TV. I love to talk about it and what I love about it. I hope the people who just discovered its existence do end up venturing into the woods of Carver, MA and have a grand time stepping into the “past” even if it is for a few hours.
King Richard’s Faire is open Saturdays & Sundays Through October 20th
Gates open at 10:30am and close at 6:00pm.
For more details visit KingRichardsFaire.net