Armored knights charged across an open field, lances at the ready. After a shield-splintering collision, the champion of England delivered a coup de grace to the champion of Scotland, who was knocked off his mount. Queen Elizabeth nodded approval, the crowd cheered, and the unhurt champions returned to battle on foot. On Saturday (June 14), the first joust of the two-day debut of the Capital Region Renaissance Festival drew hundreds of spectators, many of them in the attire of the medieval era or a fantasy version thereof. Even Dr. Who made an appearance, materializing in the barn amid the artisans’ market.
According to the organizers, attendance for the event was beyond their expectations: 2200 patrons in total turned out for the arts, crafts, and activities of the Tudor era that were held at Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont. Among the varied performers, from merry Shakespeareans to comic troubadours, were the rescue horses that played the role of jousting steeds. Another hit activity was an archery tourney for children (with safety arrows), and there were lines for “boar” sandwiches and roast turkey legs.
“I enjoyed the theatrical aspect. It was such a fun atmosphere,” said Katherine Moss of Poestenkill. As the fortune-teller of Solidago Tarot, Moss gave card readings for faire goers from a table by the marketplace. “I met so many great people,” she added. “I’d love to do it again next year.”
“We are grateful to the Capital District for welcoming us with open arms,” said festival co-organizer Gia Pace. “We will be back next year for sure.”