Robin Hood Festival at Guilford Fairgrounds

Every weekend from Saturday, May 18 through Sunday, June 2, the annual Robin Hood Springtime Festival returns with a world in which princes, princesses, and fairy tale creatures come to life at the Guilford Fairgrounds.

Festival co-owner Eric Tetreault said shoreline residents can expect a complete transformation of the fairgrounds into the Nottingham and Sherwood Forest, featuring a variety of entertainment, characters, and activities from the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods.

"It's an amazing experience. We actually transform the Guilford Fairgrounds, stepping back into Robin Hood's time. You get to talk to Robin Hood, Maid Marian, Prince John, and the Sheriff of Nottingham and his men," said Tetreault. "It's very interactive, which is what we like because that helps people feel like they've stepped back."

The Connecticut Renaissance Faire created the annual festival in 2010. The event will feature several Robin Hood characters, as well as magicians, musicians, artisans, villagers, acrobats, and food vendors. There will be 50 medieval villagers, merry men, fair maidens, and royals dressed to impress.

Gates open at 11 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. for all three weekends. There will be activities for all ages to partake in. Seven stages on the site will hold entertainment such as dance, comedy shows, and plays. Sword swallowing, a tournament jousting match, a knight ceremony, and scavenger hunts are just a few attractions festival-goers will enjoy. Games in which the whole family can participate include axes and daggers, the archery range, and kid-friendly fencing.

"This fair is also catered to adults and kids, so everybody who goes to the fair will have a very good time," Tetreault said.

Musical performances will feature period-correct instruments including the harp, hammered dulcimer, lyre, drums, and classical guitar. Those who attend can also purchase goods at the festival as well as enjoy Renaissance faire prepared feasts. Beer and wine will also be available for adults.

Tetreault, along with co-owner Brian Harvard, created the festival based on a similar one the two attended in their childhood.

"It's a lot of fun. We did this when we were kids-we went to a Renaissance festival and we were just blown away with what we saw," Tetreault said. "We really felt like we stepped back in time and there's nothing like that, so we made the Springtime Festival because when we were kids it was such a magical experience for us."

Guilford Fairgrounds is located at 111 Lovers Lane. Tickets are $16 for adults aged 16 and older, $10 for children aged seven through 15, and children aged six and younger are free. You can purchase the tickets at the gate or online at www.robinhoodsfaire.com. Parking costs $3. For more information, call 860-478-5954.

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