Home Enthusiast Renaissance Fair Brings Medieval History Buffs to Aroostook County

Renaissance Fair Brings Medieval History Buffs to Aroostook County

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LIMESTONE, Maine – Albert Michaud Memorial Park in Limestone transformed into one of Europe’s premier markets over the weekend when the annual Limestone Renaissance Fair returned to Aroostook County.

First launched in 2019, the event aims to attract summer visitors while providing people with a fun way to experience life in Europe from the medieval period to the European Renaissance.

The Limestone event came after the Maine Renaissance Faire was held in July in Acton for the first time in 15 years. The Renaissance Faire in Aroostook County draws hundreds of people from across the county and other parts of the state.

The two-day event featured archery, sword fight re-enactments and more than 20 vendors, musicians and protesters dressed in costumes inspired by the “Under the Enchanted Kingdom” theme.

Caribou’s Christine and Johnny Akridge sold medieval-inspired artwork at the Limestone Renaissance Faire on Saturday. Credit: Melissa Lizotte / Republican Aroostook

While northern Maine may not be the first place people associate with medieval and Renaissance history, organizers were pleasantly surprised at the consistent turnout throughout the weekend.

“It’s great to see so many people in fancy dress,” said Karralena Castaway, secretary of the Limestone Development Authority and president of the nonprofit organization Twins Riverwood. “It’s a fun way for people to learn and experience these times.”

Those who stopped by on Saturday afternoon watched a live improvised version of Dungeons & Dragons featuring folks from Shiretown Gaming in Houlton, and a performance of “Much Ado About Nothing” from the Fairfield-based Recycled Shakespeare Company.

Twins Riverwood consists of nearly 50 members from across Aroostook County who hold classes and participate in re-enactments and other events that educate people about the European Middle Ages.

But this year’s Renaissance Faire drew people from beyond Twins Riverwood who were eager to step back in time for a while.

Friends Julia Sherman from Almost Isle and Shani Hardgrove from Fort Fairfield came dressed in medieval costumes and enjoyed seeing the vendors and demonstrations, which included woodworking, a blacksmith shop and arts and crafts.

Left to right, Littleton’s Jacob Ouellette (left) and Joseph Novelli take part in a live version of Dungeons & Dragons during the Limestone Renaissance Faire. Littleton’s Jacob Ouellette (left) and Littleton’s John Gaug take part in a live version of the Dungeons and Dragons tabletop game at the Limestone Renaissance Fair. Credit: Melissa Lizotte / Republican Aroostook

“I’ve always been fascinated by the mystical parts of history,” Sherman said. “I love how this event is something you wouldn’t normally see here.”

The Fair also became a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Caribou’s first seller Christine Akridge, who sold acrylics, spray paint and glassware inspired by Shakespeare’s literature, the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop game and other 1400 era themes.

With an enthusiastic turnout, Akridge, wearing an elf-inspired dress, said she would definitely return to the Renaissance Faire next year.

“I love any excuse to be in costume,” Akridge said.