For three weekends in September, Camp Sacajawea on White Lake Road in Sparta has been transformed into a medieval world filled with jousting, jesters and fairy parades.
Arriving in Renaissance-era or mystical regalia, crowds have descended on the Sparta Renaissance Festival on Sept. 9-10 and Sept. 16-17. The final weekend is Sept. 23-24.
Renaissance fairs are known for guest participation, as the majority of visitors take on the role of a character from that time. The Sparta fair holds true to this culture and does not disappoint.
The entertainment is interactive and includes the “Juggling Fairy Show,” the Pieces of 8 a capella singers and “Shakespeare Approves.”
There is a daily fairy parade that proceeds throughout the grounds. Medieval food, music and vendors also are available.
The festival attracts local visitors as well as those who travel a distance for the experience.
Lichen Balay and Cody Meks came to the fair with their friends from Arcadia University in Philadelphia. They were introduced to the world of Renaissance fairs when they were in middle school and immediately were hooked.
Today, both create their own costumes and help friends make theirs as well.
Balay explained that the costume is far more than what you wear to a fair. In the Renaissance fair community, a costume becomes a persona that travels with you from event to event.
“You develop a theme or character. Then people start to recognize you and your costume.”
When it comes to the Renaissance fair culture, Hannah Salny, also known as Fairy Parsley Luna, of Newton, believes that the Sparta Renaissance Festival is uniquely special.
“This fair is the most magical one I’ve ever been to. The volunteers believe. It’s a passion project,” she said.
Although Salny has attended many Renaissance festivals, the Sparta festival is the only one where she works because of that passion, which she shares.
She pointed out that the Sparta event is very family friendly, unlike some fairs that are more focused on adults. Many activities are child-centered and the entire event is more G-rated for younger guests.
For information about the festival, go online to https://www.spartanjrenfaire.com
This fair is the most magical one I’ve ever been to. The volunteers believe. It’s a passion project.” - Hannah Salny, also known as Fairy Parsley Luna, of Newton