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New and traditional ways of exploring the globe, and your own backyard.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A break from our regularly-scheduled road trip programming...





I had the honor of being a part of my friend Chinasa’s wedding party and therefore partially in charge of arranging for her bachelorette party. Chinasa is not the stereotypical soon-to-be bride who would want strippers, and unhealthy amounts of alcohol sipped through penis straws (or at least that would be what I would want for my bachelorette party - *achem* friends take note).
So, we started brainstorming about other activities – a trip to Foxwoods casino came up, a stay at the new Great Escape Lodge was a possibility – but we finally agreed upon going to the Sterling Renaissance Festival near Oswego, NY.
I was first introduced to this fun summer weekend activity by an ex-boyfriend who goes to the Renaissance faire annually with his family. But, I had a feeling that my friend would love the experience.
First off, you get to dress up and really get absorbed into that time period. Chinasa wore an old sorceress Halloween costume that the maid of honor happened to bring along in my car trunk (since the festival was a surprise) and I wore a friend’s medieval-style dress, complete with extra long sleeves.
Others in costume greeted us with “Good Morrows” and “Good Day, M’lady.” It seems like a great place for aspiring actors to pick a role and accent for the day and use it with the other visitors.
While waiting in the rather long line to get in, a man atop the nearby stone castle was entertaining the crowd with an improv comedy act which included a rope noose. Though he was not quite loud enough for me to hear him, he was at least funny looking….*cue lame joke drum.*
Once through the gateway, we waited in another smaller line to get a wristband to show we were of the proper Medieval age to drink.
After this, being lunchtime, our next priority was food. While Chinasa and I shared a ($8) Turkey leg, others had items like fish sandwiches and even a quiche and quesadilla. I didn’t know they had quesadillas back then…
As for the drinks, there was mead (honey wine), beer, and wine. More specifically, wine and wine slushies. Yum.
Turkey legs in hand, we went to see the jousting and sword fighting. This was where we saw a Capt. Jack Swallow look-a-like, which was really cool! And the joust and fighting was pretty fun too – though, again, the sound-system was not the best but I can’t really complain since they did not even have sound systems back then.
We saw the Don Juan and Miguel act which has been at the festival for more than 20 years, and for good reason. The duo are hilarious, and their sword-fighting and tricks are stunning. Even when they mess up the trick, they still found a way to make it funny.
We went to the other side of the huge village – all this supposedly takes place in 1585 in an English village named Warwick – and went to see a glass-blowing demonstration. I wish I could have afforded to pay the $125 for the champagne flutes he made for the crowd but that was unfortunately a little steep for me.
The day was topped off at the Mud Pit Stage, and you can surely guess what the main attraction there is….mud. And lots of it.
If you missed the tomato-throwing, heckling, medieval magic of the 2010 Season (the festival’s 34th), you can still enjoy the large property at the Sterling Celtic Rock Festival this weekend Sat. Aug. 21 and Sun. Aug. 22. The music schedule is below and tickets range from $14.95 to $25.
Or, for Halloween fans, what better place to get the crap scared out of you than a huge Renaissance campus in the middle of nowhere? On Fridays and Saturdays throughout October, Screamers’ Hollow is open to the public and tickets for this range from $12.50 to $30.
Parking at the venue is free and it is about 3 hours or so away from Albany.
I have yet to go to the music festival or the immense haunted house-like experience, so please let me know if any of you have. I’d love to hear some reviews on it.

The Sterling Renaissance Festival’s website: http://www.sterlingfestival.com/home/tabid/36/Default.aspx



SATURDAY, AUGUST 21


Wyldwood Stage1:15p – 2:00p: Searson2:45p – 3:30p: Eileen Ivers4:00p – 5:15p: Searson5:45p – 7:00p: Eileen Ivers



Mud Pit Stage12:30p – 1:15p: The Town Pants2:00p – 2:45p: The Elders3:30p – 4:45p: The Town Pants5:15p – 6:30p: The Elders



Bankside Stage12:45p – 2:00p: Hadrian’s Wall2:45p – 3:30p: Causeway Giants4:00p – 5:15p: Hadrian’s Wall5:45p – 7:00p: Causeway Giants



Gate Stage11:00a – 12:15p: Syracuse Irish Session12:30p – 1:45p: The Grady Girls2:00p – 3:15p: Syracuse Irish Session3:30p – 4:45p: The Grady Girls



Festival Stage11:00a – 12:15p: Traonach12:30p – 1:00p: Harrington School of Irish Dance1:15p – 1:45p: Scottish Pipe and Dance2:00p – 3:15p: Traonach3:30p – 4:00p: Harrington School of Irish Dance4:15p – 4:45p: Scottish Pipe and Dance5:00p – 5:30p: Harrington School of Irish Dance




SUNDAY, AUGUST 22 Wyldwood Stage1:15p – 2:00p: Searson2:45p – 3:30p: Eileen Ivers4:00p – 5:15p: Searson5:45p – 7:00p: Eileen Ivers



Mud Pit Stage12:30p – 1:15p: The Town Pants2:00p – 2:45p: The Elders3:30p – 4:45p: The Town Pants5:15p – 6:30p: The Elders



Bankside Stage12:45p – 2:00p: Hadrian’s Wall2:45p – 3:30p: Tartan Terrors4:00p – 5:15p: Hadrian’s Wall5:45p – 7:00p: Tartan Terrors



Gate Stage11:00a – 12:15p: Syracuse Irish Session12:30p – 1:45p: The Grady Girls2:00p – 3:15p: Syracuse Irish Session3:30p – 4:45p: The Grady Girls



Festival Dance Stage11:00a – 12:15p: Traonach12:30p – 1:00p: Kinlough Academy1:15p – 1:45p: Scottish Pipe and Dance2:00p – 3:15p: Traonach3:30p – 4:00p: Kinlough Academy4:15p – 4:45p: Scottish Pipe and Dance5:00p – 5:30p: Kinlough Academy5:45p – 6:15p: Scottish Pipe and Dance


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