12th Annual Community Renaissance Festival

Event Details

May 4, 2014
11:00 am-4:00 pm

Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies

650 East Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA

Handicap access available
Free admission
Alison Kiraly

Make plans to bring the whole family to enjoy, for free, a day of Renaissance entertainment!

This year's Festival features lute and vocal concerts by the groups Ayrecraft and Nota Bene, a staged reading of David Rowland’s After the Island by Silverthorne Theater Company as well as a performance of several Shakespeare scenes presented by Hampshire College theater students. The Amherst Renaissance Dancers will dance and teach audience members some basic moves.

Our large tent hosts day-long demonstrations of leather-working, blacksmith techniques (no live animals or open fire!) from the Hampshire Blacksmithing Guild, and the loom work of Pioneer Valley Weavers, sponsored by Webs.

New England Falconry and Phoenix Swords present both falcon and swordsmanship demonstrations which are quite entertaining for kids.  Juggler Hannah French will stroll the grounds and lead impromptu lessons for anyone who is interested in learning to juggle.

Joining us for the first time this year is “Robie Bones” who will perform Renaissance era bones, tambour and bodhran music – with special kids’ “Jam Times” at 11:30 and 2:30 where children are invited to participate with tambourines, drums, and bones. There is also a Renaissance board games tent to explore, hobby horses to ride, and pool noodles for “jousting.” Bring a picnic (no alcoholic beverages please!) and enjoy some time in our lovely open meadow.

Families with small children are encouraged to attend.  Leashed well behaved dogs are allowed, provided they are supervised at all times and picked up after.

There is plenty of free on-site parking, including handicap access parking and UMass Lot 44D on Eastman Lane will be available for overflow parking, should on-site become full, with a free shuttle van making trips to and from the lot to the Festival in 15 minute intervals.

This free, outdoor festival is held rain or shine.

Visit our website at www.umass.edu/renaissance for event schedule and free shuttle information.


From the South: Take I-91 to exit l9, turn right, cross the bridge and go six miles to the Amherst Common which will face you on the left at a traffic light in the middle of town. Turn left at the lights stay on that road, which becomes North Pleasant St. and then (without turning) East Pleasant St. The Center is 650 East Pleasant Street, about 3 miles from the center of town, on the left and just past the fire station on the right. There is a small white sign out front; there is a sign for Stone House Flower Farm across the road. Turn left into our dirt driveway and come down to the two parking lots at the Center.

From the North: Take I-91 to exit 18; at the exit go to the traffic light and turn left on Damon Road. At the end of Damon Road, at the bridge construction, turn left again over the bridge and follow the directions above.

From the East: Take the Mass Pike (I-90) to Exit 4, go north (toward Holyoke) onto I-91 and follow the directions for those coming from the south. Those using Route 9 from the east or west will come into the center of Amherst. At the traffic light at the Common, turn north along the Common. You are on South Pleasant Street, soon to become East Pleasant Street. Follow East Pleasant Street to 650 and refer to the directions above.

From the West: Take the Mass Pike (I-90) to Exit 4, and follow the directions above.