New Hampshire Renaissance Faire mixes fun with history

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Everybody had a good time at the NH Renaissance Faire. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

FREMONT, N.H. – Just over 4,500 people took advantage of some good weather on Saturday and Sunday to take a trip out to for the first weekend of the 2023 New Hampshire Renaissance Faire.

Now in its 19th year, the faire has grown from its original location at the Three Maples Arts and Nature Camp in Kingston and transitioned from an autumn to a spring event, eventually growing to the point where it needed to move in 2018 to Fremont’s Brookvale Pines Farm, also known for the annual October Grass Drags event.

Today it mixes the food and vendors that one might find at a local county fair with a mix of entertainment and medieval-themed fun ranging from classes on how to construct chainmail and archery ranges to jousting and a roaming mascots.

“This is much bigger than we ever would have thought,” said New Hampshire Renaissance Faire co-founder Bob Bean. “It was a fun little fair and it kept on growing and it was fun.”

Each year the faire contributes all of its profits, approximately 40 percent of all its revenue, to local non-profits. This year, those profits will go to the New Hampshire Food Bank and Rockingham Nutrition Meals on Wheels.

“We created the (fair as a) non-profit because we felt that it would do two things,” said New Hampshire Renaissance Faire co-founder Marghi Bean. “First, it’s good for the community and it’s good to give back to the community (by holding the faire), but secondly it’s a good motivational tool for volunteers; people want to volunteer, and if they feel and see what that they’re doing is helping others, we get some great volunteers and we get some great volunteers who work their hearts out.”

Beyond the altruistic foundation of the faire, its participants and organizers feel another key aspect of the New Hampshire Renaissance Faire is its atmosphere.

“I think the most important thing is that Renaissance faires are very inclusive,” said Andrew Jefferson, an performer at the faire and president of the 501(c)3 that operates the New Hampshire Renaissance Faire, Three Maples Renaissance Corporation.  “If you normally don’t fit in, you’ll fit in here. Everybody here always has a giving and understanding open attitude. We just want everyone to have fun and have a great escape.”

That atmosphere has created a sense of community not just within this faire but between Renaissance faires across the country, with New Hampshire now in an official partnership with the Vermont and Maine Renaissance Faires. Still, New Hampshire’s approach has been seen as simpler and more inviting than more commercialized Renaissance faires in southern states that hold their events in more formalized settings.

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There are several stage performances at the faire. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

Joshua Birch has come to the New Hampshire Renaissance Faire for the past seven years including this year in addition to other Renaissance Faires across the eastern seaboard. For Birch, the faire in New Hampshire is just the right size.

“I’d say this is more relaxed, I guess. Some of the faires down south that have permanent structures can feel very crowded,” said Birch. “This is kind of like a lot of the generic fairs you’ll see around the area, but it’s fun to see people dress up there’s a very friendly atmosphere, a sort of community.”

The event also brought out people who saw theme of the faire as a secondary aspect to the fact that it just seemed like a good time.

Karina Rasner of Derry stopped by on opening weekend with her mother and grandmother. While she tried out some archery, the main draw for her was the New Hampshire artisans.

“I love shopping at small businesses and sustainable shopping is something I always try to do, and I’m always trying to grow my jewelry collection,” she said. “I love the whole experience, I love going to things like this, especially when they’re local.”

The second and final weekend of the faire will take place on May 20 and 21. More information can be found at


About this Author

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.