The Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park

Some might call this a Renaissance Festival, but not us New Yorkers. This is my second visit to the October fair, which I have been ignorant of for years. When I went the first time in 2005 I made the error of arriving midway through the six-hour event and was only able to visit a few overpriced, gimmicky souvenir booths (ye old DVDs) and eat a giant turkey leg. On this occasion I arrived at the opening and had a much more fulfilling time witnessing a parade of costumed performers, a birds of prey exhibition (featuring some exciting hunting demonstrations from an owl, hawk and falcon even if the handler spent far too much time talking), and a mock joust that included all the silly and fun drama of a pro-wrestling match. After that I called it a day, despite not indulging in a giant turkey leg, as the multitudes again flooded the park. Something about the arrangements of the booths and events need to be redone as you either have empty space or stifling crowds. I suppose that’s why it’s a free event as opposed to the expensive ones which are always too far away.