I can't even begin to tell you how much I love going to the Renaissance Festival, it's one event I try to go to every single year. My guilty pleasure, I guess you could say.

I'm not one of those who dresses up to go to the festival, but there was a year when I went to a Ren Festival as a representative for the radio station I worked for at the time and they surprised me by having me dress up to be presented to the festival Queen. Although I was pretty hot in the heavy clothes, I have to admit that it was fun to be dressed up and neat that nobody on the grounds batted an eyelash at me while I was in my garb:

Traci Taylor

If you've never been to a Renaissance Festival, you can expect to see lots of shops selling Renaissance apparel, swords, and artwork. Even if you don’t think you’d ever buy an article of clothing, they’re fun to look at and a great lesson on history and what was worn and carried by those who came before us.

In addition to the cute shops filled with lots of treasures, you might want to arrive with an empty belly because there’s so much delicious food and drink. My favorite has to be roasted turkey leg, I mean where else can you walk around in public gnawing on a giant turkey leg and it’s completely acceptable?

You’ll also enjoy comic skits and performances from jugglers, jousters, stilt walkers, dancers and more. You should also expect to see actors wandering around portraying historical figures like Leonardo DaVinci and Queen Elizabeth. And everyone who works at the Ren Festival speaks in Elizabethan dialogue and encourages guests to converse with them in said dialogue. If you’re planning to go to the Ren Festival and don’t want to be completely confused as to what is being said to you by the actors, here’s a handy little translator you can study before going.

I love history and I love English and am enthralled by things that take me back in time. If you're into the same things, you'll definitely want to carve out some time to visit the Sterling Renaissance Festival in Sterling, which is just two hours from Binghamton and totally worth the trip. The Sterling Renaissance Festival is open Saturdays and Sundays from July 5th through August 17th from 10am-7pm. Tickets can be bought online so you don't have to waste time standing in line.