Costumes, accents, performances to be part of Renaissance Festival

Tips for donning a Renaissance look
Published: 9/6/2016 10:00 AM
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Tips for donning a Renaissance look

By Sarah DeSantis


SUNBURY — The Sunbury riverfront will be reimagined to a time nearly 400 years ago during third annual Lake Augusta Renaissance Festival Saturday, Sept. 10.

To complete the illusion, festival participants will often dress in elaborate period costumes pegged to a date or social strata of the Renaissance era.

Members of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), which is co-organizing the event, research and design authentic clothing. Sometimes members of the group’s clothing guild will research patterns and weave fabric to create outfits that look like they came from the Globe Theater’s costume shop.

For the everyday festival-goer, Robert Roush, executive director of the festival’s co-organizer, Sunbury’s Revitalization Inc. (SCA), said inexpensive yet effective costumes can be created using ordinary clothing.

“There’s some simple things you can do, and all you’d have to do is throw on a pair of sandals and you look like you walked out of Robin Hood,” he said.

For women, Roush suggested matching a simple white lace top with a long peasant skirt. Men can also easily re-create the peasant look by donning a farmer’s shirt with a pair of brown pants and popping on a Renaissance-era hat. An easy friar look can be achieved by wearing a simple household or choir robe and tying it with a piece of rope, he said.

“All of a sudden I look like I’m from a bygone era,” he said.

Festival-goers who are lacking even the basics or are seeking a more authentic look can stop by a booth near the entrance hosted by Ben’s Costume Closet and pick up some grab-and-go costume items.

Ben Hartman, owner, said he will have several gently worn costumes in a variety of looks. Prices range from $30 to $50.

“They’re perfectly nice dresses,” he said, showing off a rack of princess-style dresses. He added that the costumes have been pulled from an overabundance of Renaissance era clothing in his shop.

Hartman said he will also sell add-on items like prop swords, hats and circlets. He said he will also rent full-blown Renaissance looks from his shop in advance of the event.

Roush said a costume is not required to attend the festival but encouraged because it adds to the fun.

“Some people won’t want to wear them and we understand that,” he said. “We won’t keep people like that out of the grounds.”

Theatrics of all sorts are welcome at the festival, and Roush said local theater groups sometimes come as audience members and add to the excitement with impromptu performances.

“We encourage people who not only enjoy dressing up but enjoy putting on a British accent to come,” he said.

The festival will take place from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, at Sunbury Riverfront Park. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for youth ages 4 to 16. Children under 4 are free.

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