King Richard’s Faire

King Richard’s Faire
King Richard’s Faire is an annual Renaissance festival held in Carver, Massachusetts. Founded in 1982, it is one of the longest-running Renaissance fairs in the United States, as well as the largest and longest-running event of its kind in New England.

The original King Richard’s Faire was founded by Richard Shapiro and his wife Bonnie in Bristol, Wisconsin. In 1988, the Shapiros sold the event to Renaissance Entertainment Corporation, having created a second incarnation of the festival in Carver, Massachusetts six years prior. Since then, the original festival has been renamed the Bristol Renaissance Fair. King Richard’s Fair in Carver is still produced by the Shapiro family, Bonnie and her daughters.

King Richard’s Faire recreates a 16th-century marketplace of Carvershire. It is operated on 80 acres of pine forest and has ten stages of continuous entertainment, artisan’s marketplace, games and rides, food and drink vendors, costumed characters, and more. All buildings on the site are permanent structures, but the fair itself runs for eight consecutive weekends from early September through late October. It is also open on Labor Day and Columbus Day.

Entertainment at the fair includes singers, musicians, minstrels, dancers, jugglers, mimes, comedians, magicians, gymnasts and acrobats, puppeteers, knights jousting on horseback, and more. Of course, there are costumed characters who keep the guests entertained, including the royal court and the fictional King Richard himself. Along with spectacular performances, the fair offers exciting games, tests of strength and skill, and rides for attendees of all ages.

At the marketplace, you can find an impressive selection of handmade crafts made by local artisans, including clothing and accessories, pottery, weapons and armor, memorabilia, jewelry, herbs and potions, musical instruments, leather wares, and more. Food vendors offer a variety of fair staples (turkey legs, shepherds’ pie, fish and chips), as well as other dishes and snacks, including vegetarian, gluten free and lactose free foods.

Like most other Renaissance festivals, King Richard’s Faire hosts themed weekends and special events to enhance the guest’s experience. For example, in 2017 the festival featured Opening Weekend with Military Appreciation Day and a troll ball tournament, the Cleavage Contest, the Vow Renewal Weekend, the Game of Thrones Weekend, the Wee Ones Parade, the Witchcraft & Wizardry Weekend, Clash of the Tartans, and Fantasy Finale. The fair also hosts weddings, adult and children’s birthday celebrations, anniversary celebrations, and bachelor or bachelorette parties.

King Richard’s Faire

Photo: Julie Dennehy




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