"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!