For two weekends every September since 1980 the Medieval Festival comes to the Sands Point Guggenheim Estate courtesy of Nassau County and MSR (Medieval Scenarios and Recreations.) This Saturday and Sunday are the last two days for this year.
One purpose of the festival is to foster understanding and appreciation of the culture of the middle ages. Activities at the fair are pig roasts on Saturday only, armored fighters, fencers, jugglers, musicians and singers, knights on horseback jousting, castle siege, games of chance, puppet theater, archery, medieval fashion show by one of the most knowledgeable and funniest MC's, Rose Fox, maypole demonstration, fight-a-knight, blacksmith and merchants.
Nassau County officials approached the founder and director of MSR, Bob Fox, after viewing a small version of the Medieval Festival at Adelphi University, inviting the group to Sands Point. The members of MSR are volunteers who love history and being part of a group of enthusiastic people. "We are interested in doing research and practicing many of the crafts from the middle ages and making period food dishes and armor that is technically correct," said Laurie Greenwald, an MSR member. "I joined originally because my husband had always loved the middle ages and was a college fencer. It was also a welcoming place for a couple with a 3-year-old child. Our youngest member is 9 months old. I soon became interested in making the clothing and cooking medieval food. I have cooked Medieval banquets for up to 120 people at a time and had a ball doing it. I also have directed Medieval plays and written some in a period style that were performed at Sands Point," said Greenwald.
Jeff Wasson, who is a master armorer, had his armor featured in Neiman Marcus's Christmas catalogue for 2004 at $20,000 for a custom-made suit. Jon Bianco said he always loved history. "I grew up on Errol Flynn in Robin Hood. Coming to the fairs and to member events was dashing and colorful, not mundane. It was a getaway from everyday life. The day I came to the fair, I joined."
Besides enjoying all the many activities at the festival, interested visitors also have the opportunity to join MSR. Call Mariana at 783-0246. Their webpage is www.kingbomofacre.org.