Robin in the Hood Festival

Robin in the Hood Festival
Although Renaissance fairs were inspired by the English Renaissance, they are a phenomenon largely confined to the United States and to a certain extent to Canada. Unlike the fairs in the United States, most Canadian Renaissance festivals last for only one or two days. For example, the Robin in the Hood Festival runs for two days in late May or early June.

The Robin in the Hood Medieval Festival is held in Elmira, Canada. The community of Elmira is probably best known for its Maple Syrup Festival regarded as the world’s largest event of its kind. However, its medieval festival is also pretty popular. It was founded in 2000 by DJ Carroll, a local drama teacher. DJ’s background in history, theater and professional performance helped him create a wonderful event dedicated to the history and culture of the Middle Ages. Of course, he didn’t do it alone. The festival is a result of joint effort of local community, professional performers and sponsors.

As we’ve already mentioned above, Canadian Renaissance festivals don’t last for weeks or even months like their American counterparts. The Robin in the Hood festival runs for two or three days one of which is closed to the general public. Before opening its gates to the public, the festival hosts an Education Day for school students who study medieval history, giving them a chance to experience life in the Middle Ages. Over 1000 students annually participate in workshops, tournaments and other exciting activities. School groups need to register beforehand and are accepted on a first come, first served basis.

The festival itself also has a lot to offer. It features a large marketplace where crafters and vendors offer food, drinks and an impressive selection of unique items such as ceramics, leather goods, weaponry, art, posters and postcards, masks, costumes and accessories, jewelry, handmade soap and perfumes, book covers, wooden items, crystal lamps, and more. Of course, there’s entertainment too. Knights, musicians, jugglers, jesters, magicians, archers and comedians demonstrate their skills and keep the attendees entertained.

Each season of the Robin in the Hood Festival has a theme and plot which adds intrigue and fun. Past themes include Year of the Robin, Year of the Vikings, Year of the Women, Year of the Tuck, Return of the King, Year of the Opposites, Year of the Sheriff, Year of the Family, Year of the Outlaw, Year of the Rain, Good Knight Sweet Prince, Fools Fortune, Back to Basics, Fellowship of the Kings, and others.

In 2021, the event was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Robin in the Hood

Photo: Robin in the Hood Medieval Festival




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