Each summer, the town of Sterling, NY is transformed to a festival atmosphere of Elizabethan days gone by. The Sterling Renaissance Festival has captivated many visitors for a number of years, and gets underway for 2009 on Saturday, July 4th, running Saturdays and Sundays through August 16th. The Festival grounds are located at 15385 Farden Rd. in Sterling; hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The action at the Festival is non-stop: there are numerous stages of continuous entertainment, a full-armored jousting tournament, and interactive village characters roaming the grounds. Merchants and artisans galore will be selling their wares: eight different areas throughout the grounds are set up, favoring the crafts of the era. Among the items available are coins and medallions, wood cut prints, clothing and accessories, jewelry, flowered hair pieces, silk and leather goods, earthenware and ceramics, stained glass pieces, toys and dolls, bath and body products, metalsmithing, and handmade musical instruments. There will also be a section dedicated to “psychic services” (for entertainment purposes), featuring tarot, rune, and palm readings, and psychic consultations.
If all the walking through the 35-acre festival environment makes you hungry, you’ll be in the right place, as no fewer than nine “food purveyors” will feed your every hunger. Ye Queen’s Path features breakfast pastries and an assortment of sandwiches, seafood, and desserts. Warwick Commons serves up shish-ka-bobs, potatoes, pizza, turkey legs, and “Pig on a Stick.” Orchard Lane features a variety of desserts, as well as chicken fingers and golden cheese curds (breaded, deep-fried cheddar cheese). High Road will feed you pork pockets, kettle corn, smoothies, and “Steak on a Stake.” King Henry’s Way features turkey legs, desserts, and a “tastings booth,” where adults can sample a number of ales. Market Cross is a fruit and jerky cart, and Wandering Treats serves pretzels, cookies, and kettle corn throughout the grounds. Two taverns are also on the premises – Bad Dog Tavern, featuring sit-down service for adults, and serving Oyster Shooters, “Dragon Wings,” Onion Rings, and Sweet Potato Fries; and Tavern on the Bogges, featuring Ye Meet Inn Place Sausage House, and serving Italian Sausage, Kielbasa, and Bratwurst.
Games and rides will get you involved at the Festival, with camel rides, mazes, archery contests, carousels, and many other contests and amusements with an Olde World spin. There will also be performances and music on the 12 stages throughout the venue, as well as the aforementioned jousting tournament.
Tickets for the Festival are $24.95 for adults, $14.95 for children 6-12; parking is free, and concessions and craft goods must be purchased separately. Sterling, NY is located near Oswego, one hour east of Rochester and 45 minutes north of Syracuse.