Residents launch Sparta Renaissance Faire

| 20 Sep 2017 | 11:15

By Rose Sgarlato
Sparta’s first Renaissance Faire received a royal welcome last weekend. The two-day event on Sept. 16 and 17, orchestrated by James Kimball, was staged at his property at Camp Sacajawea on White Lake Road.
Based on attendance of over 1500 people on Saturday alone, according to a ticket sales person, one can safely say that LARP (live action role play) is bigger and better than ever. LARP often refers to events portraying medieval times.
Under Kimball’s ownership for the past seven years, Camp Sacajawea has become a premiere place for role-playing weekends where a theme or story is pre-selected. In this particular scenario a royal wedding took place of Princess Misha of the Sejung Empire to King James 1 from the Kingdom of Sussex. Kimball was the groom and his new wife was the bride. In fact, they did actually get married (in full costume) on Saturday. On Sunday, the ceremony was repeated for role -play.
The entire wedding was truly ceremonial with knights and live music depicting traditional medieval times. And if a wedding isn’t your thing, there was plenty of other entertainment: axe-making, tarot card reading, sword sales, live vignettes on stage and a village person performing with a ring of fire. Plus a live wolf, not domesticated but handled by his owner, was also on display.
Food vendors kept everyone fed and Krogh’s Restaruant and Brew Pub set up a tavern on-site to sell craft beers.
“We were so excited that there was a renaissance faire right in Sparta. We were impressed with the whole event, especially since it was only their first year doing it,” said Sparta resident Mike Brawer who attended with his family. “Everyone was very friendly, the costumes were terrific, and the vendors displayed some amazing artisan skills. The musical performers at the medieval tavern that Krogh’s was running were really fun and authentic, and two thumbs up for the mead.”
As the founder "King James" Kimball notes on the faire's website:
"For the last twenty years I have run a live action fantasy game called 'Knight Realms.' Six years ago I purchased Camp Sacajawea as a permanent home for the game, and we have been developing the land to have a medieval and renaissance theme ever since. This faire has been a dream of ours since purchasing the land, although the development of the property has caused us to push this dream back, year after year. Finally, and with great excitement we have decided to wait no longer; the dream becomes reality this year!"
For some in the know, Sparta Renaissance Faire may not currently compare too well to its big brother, the New York Renaissance Faire in Tuxedo Park NY. But the Sparta faire has had a successful start and is probably here to stay. To learn more, visit