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Requiem for the Sands Point Medieval Festival

There will be no Sands Point Medieval Festival in 2012. Follow the group at www.facebook.com/kingdomofacrefestivals.

"Can she feel your clothes?"

"My dad brought me here as a kid and now I bring my kids."

"I remember you. You taught me archery five years ago. "

"Weren't you the king last year?"

These are all words we may never hear again. The volunteer members of Medieval Scenarios and Recreations, Inc., a not-for-profit educational organization have brought clean, educational, affordable family fun to Long Island for the past 32 years in the form of the Annual Sands Point Medieval Festival.  The quotes above are from the aide for a blind and deaf student from the nearby Helen Keller Institute whose charge wanted to "see" what the Queen was wearing, a young parent, a 14-year old boy and a young girl.  They are typical of the interaction between members of the public and those of us who have staffed the Festival these many years.

How many of our patrons who have attended the fair in the past don't look forward to booing our wonderful "bad guy," Sir Balin as he taunts those "sticky-fingered, juice box-drinking" kids?  I know that the reason that my family and I became members of MSR, Inc. was that after attending the Sands Point Medieval Festival for a few years, we felt like we knew all the players and wanted to be a part of it.

Sadly, as of 2012, this great Long Island family tradition has come to an end. The Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums has declined to offer a contract for the Festival to MSR, Inc. Thus, the Sands Point Medieval Festival will not take place in 2012, and it seems unlikely that it will ever take place again.

Not only is this a loss to the members of the public who loyally attended the festival year after year and to the volunteers who have happy memories of being a part of it, but it is also a loss to the many Long Island vendors and service providers (food, sound system, printing, sanitation, performers and more) who counted on the Annual Sands Point Medieval Festival as a reliable source of income. The patrons of the Festival might attend the New York State Renaissance Faire in Tuxedo, N.Y. instead, or they may skip it entirely. Ultimately, though not huge, the loss of this festival is a loss to the Long Island local economy.

While there is no replacement festival on the schedule for this year, Medieval Scenarios and Recreations, Inc. is actively seeking another venue for the festival. Anyone interested in attending MSR's medieval festivals can visit the website at www.kingdomodacre.org, or better yet, follow the organization on facebook at www.facebook.com/kingdomofacrefestivals

To all of our fans and followers, be assured that we miss you too!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

George Mulligan September 03, 2012 at 10:18 PM
I live very close to the Sand's Point Preserve. The one time I went to the Medieval Festival with my children and a few of the neighbor's kids, I thought it was extremely expensive. We were there for a few hours and if my memory is correct, we spent alot of money on admission and some refreshments. Maybe the patrons could no longer justify the cost vs. the entertainment value.
Terry September 04, 2012 at 05:51 PM
So the reason is not stated, hence bad article since as to 'why' the Medieval Festival is canceled. And in reality was this actually a FOSP decision or the County Park? In the past, they charged a fair amount of money to get in and for activities, so I assume was not the driving issue. As mentioned above, it was a $10 admission to Gambol previewer last year (first time ever) to get into a county park. I don't believe the FOSP have the residents of Port Washington interests in mind.
Mary Redler September 04, 2012 at 09:42 PM
I don't know which year you attended, but in 2011 the rates were $10 per adult, $5 per child and children 4 and under were free. That included 2 jousts, a fashion show, armor show, armoring demo, multiple crafts demos, wandering minstrels, puppet shows, tournaments, martial demos, two court scenarios, photo ops with the characters and a castle siege. The only (optional) additional costs were for food and games and the games were priced lower than typical games at carnivals, street fairs and amusement parks. If you've ever taken your children to a movie or a carnival, you would appreciate the value of the Medieval Festival's pricing in comparison. Patrons had nothing to do with the cancellation of the fair, as last year may have been the largest attendance the festival has ever had.
Mary Redler September 04, 2012 at 09:47 PM
The "reason" stated in the article is that the Nassau County Department of Parks declined to offer a contract for this year's festival. My goal in writing the article was to let the festival's fans know that it would not be taking place - not to publicly conjecture upon whether it was the County or the Friends of Sands Point who made the decision, as the net result is the same.

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