Dressed in a 17th-century privateer costume, Chris Klein made a roughly two-hour trip Sunday from Orange County to attend the second annual Capital District Renaissance Festival. Shortly after arriving, he said he was not disappointed by the festival.
“This is a really great festival,” he said. “I usually go to one in Tuxedo and this one seems to be a little smaller, but I really like the layout and the different things that are set up.”
Klein added that many people interested in the Renaissance period travel throughout the county year-round to attend various festivals and fairs. However, he is not one of those fanatics.
“I love coming to these fairs, but I don’t have the time to dedicate my life to it,” he said.
The two-day event, which wrapped up Sunday, featured over 30 craft and food vendors and more than a dozen performers on five stages. Entertainment included performances involving sword play, Shakespearian acting and musical acts.
Event co-producer Kendall Hudson said the festival’s attendance grew this year and it attracted thousands of visitors both days.
“There was a really good bustle about the event and it seems like word has spread throughout the community that this is a family event that can be educational and recreational for kids,” she said. “The idea is that this is a niche group of people who attend these festivals but I don’t think that’s really true.”
Sunday was Collin Murray’s first time at a Renaissance festival but he said he didn’t think it would be his last.
“I’ve always seen these things and honestly thought they were kind of weird and stuff, but the beer is good and the food is good,” he said. “It’s not bad, you know, the sun is shining and I can sit here in shorts and a T-shirt and look at all these people dressed in all this heavy clothing.”
Members of the Rensselaer County chapter of Society for Creative Anachronism were some of the people to whom Murray was referring. They were dressed in wool shirts, pants and dresses, offering instructional courses on fencing, weaving and various Renaissance activities.
Nuri Olsen, a volunteer with the organization, said they were offering something for people of all ages.
“We have fencers dressed in full armor who are showing what battle would have been like during the Renaissance time,” she said. “Oftentimes people are really intrigued by that aspect of it but then they realize that there is so much to learn about the period and they stay to participate in other activities.”
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