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Renaissance faire draws fans to New Scotland fields

Renaissance faire draws fans to New Scotland fields

There once was a terrible pirate named Captain Macaroni and Cheese. He commanded the Dinglehop, a sh
Renaissance faire draws fans to New Scotland fields
Knights face off during a Joust Tournament at the Capital District Renaissance Festival at Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont on Sunday, June 15, 2014.
Photographer: Patrick Dodson

There once was a terrible pirate named Captain Macaroni and Cheese. He commanded the Dinglehop, a ship made entirely of money.

“The Greatest Pirate Show Never Told!” asked the audience to fill in the blanks of their song. Two children sitting in the front row screamed, “Macaroni and cheese!” and “Money!”

After filling in a couple of other missing words, five pirates sang the song back to the crowd. The group of about 30 people cheered and clapped after hearing what they created.

“That pirate’s name was a little too long,” one of the pirates said to the child who chose "macaroni and cheese." Later in the song, the captain and his crew stole every “banana,” from Dublin to Bombay.

The pirates are part of an off-Broadway musical that performed this weekend at a Renaissance faire at Indian Ladder Farms in New Scotland.

The festival, organized by Giacinta Pace and Kendall Hudson and billed as the first of its kind in the Capital Region, attracted more than 2,000 visitors over two days (Saturday and Sunday), some of them traveling for hours to attend.

“We are thrilled. This is beyond our expectations,” Pace said. “The community has been so welcoming, and they have just embraced this type of entertainment. I’m happy to see so many smiling faces here. That makes it so worth it.”

Pace and Hudson have managed other Renaissance festivals in areas downstate and in New York City. This year they came up with the idea of hosting a festival in a new location.

“We always collaborated with each other trying to come up with ideas for new performances,” Hudson said. “One day we said, ‘You know, maybe we should have our own fair.’ ”

But Pace doesn’t remember their discussion quite like that.

“No, you said that,” Pace said laughing. “And I thought, ‘Oh, that’s scary!’ I remember it the complete opposite way.”

After holding the event this weekend, Hudson and Pace agreed that they will plan another festival in the area again next year. “Hell yeah, we’re doing this again,” Pace said.

One of the most popular items sold at the festival were flower hair wreaths, handmade by Ashley Hudson, who lives in Schenectady.

“I sold all out of hair wreaths on Saturday,” she said. “I stayed up most of the night last night making more for today.”

Hudson sold about 100 wreaths for $10 each for adult-sized and $5 for kid-sized. The flowers came in purple, red and yellow, and were wrapped delicately around a wire with matching color ribbon flowing down the back of the wreath.

“This is definitely a great family event. The little girls love these wreaths,” Hudson said. “This is my first time doing one of these, and I’m already game planning for next year.”

There were about a dozen other vendors set up at the festival offering food, costumes, jewelry and a range of activities from archery to juggling. Also, horse and carriage rides were offered in the morning, while a jousting tournament was held in the afternoon.

On the menu at “The Boar’s Den” were smoked turkey legs, queen’s garden salad, fresh pasta salad, nachos and cheese, and smoothies. Across from the den, Melissa Anne Pikul sold her custom jewelry featuring medieval earrings, bracelets and necklaces.

“I usually go to Tuxedo (Orange County), Sterling (Cayuga County) or Connecticut for these festivals,” said Mike Cataldo of Guilderland, who was selling his steel wall hooks, weapons and scrap metal monsters. “But now there is one right in our backyard!”

Cataldo said he only found out about the festival on Tuesday, and was thrilled to hear that the organizers still had booths available for vendors. He said the festival is a great way to boost his business.

“It’s all about being local and it’s great to stay local,” he said. “I get to hand out business cards and possibly get some jobs for people looking for custom weapons and other work.”

The festival also gave parents the opportunity to spend some quality time with their children on Father’s Day. Doing juggling, for example.

“Your first reaction is that you just want to get rid of it, but you have to take it slow,” the instructor said to the people tossing balls in the air. “Up, up and down. One, two, three, four.”

Several fathers tried to show their kids how to juggle, failing in the process to catch the third ball as it swung around in front of their faces.

“Whoa, Dad! Catch it!” one boy screamed as he jumped and clapped while watching his father. “You’re so funny. Now let me try! I bet I can juggle better than you.”

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