Next month, the Capital District will have its own Renaissance Festival when a portion of the Indian Ladder Farms is transformed into a medieval paradise.
The New Scotland Planning Board on Tuesday, May 6, unanimously approved NY Capital District Renaissance Festival LLC’s request for a special use permit to hold the two-day historical themed event on two parcels of land Peter Ten Eyck owns. The permit was required because event organizers are estimating 1,000 people will turn out each day. A local law requires an outdoor gathering of 500 people or more to apply for the permit and meet required conditions.
Event organizers are planning to have 300 to 400 people on site at one time, with the potential to reach 500 people.
“We are applying because we want to make sure we’re in compliance in case we go over 500 people at any one time,” event spokesman Daniel Bader said.
The renaissance festival will be held on June 14 and 15, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with admission of $12 for adults and $5 for children. Event organizers are looking to contract with 30 vendors for food, refreshments and souvenirs, and 25 performers. The main attraction will be a jousting event held twice, daily.
“I hope it would be a fun thing to have happen,” Ten Eyck said. “It doesn’t have anything to do with growing apples, but you got a facility and would like the community to be able to enjoy events there if possible.”
Planning Board Chairman Charles Voss said the applicant provided additional information board members requested at its last meeting, such as detailed parking and event layout.
“I am satisfied certainly from what I have seen,” Voss said.
Board members were confident Ten Eyck could assist organizers to address and traffic issues, with him having years of experience handling large crowds during the apple harvest at the farm.
“We have had a lot of practice in trying to deal with that,” Ten Eyck said.
Kendall Hudson, festival director and owner of Kendall Hudson Events, said Indian Ladder Farms’ experience with crowds was part of the reason the site was chosen.
“It is a beautiful space,” Hudson said. “You kind of want people to be able to escape to that time period and it kind of gives you that escape from modern technology.”
Hudson has previously helped organize a Renaissance festival held annually in New York City, but said she wanted to host one near her hometown.
“I’m from the Capital District originally, and my whole family is here,” she said. “We wanted to bring one to the Capital District.”
Gerald Engstrom, of 478 Altamont Road, neighbors the farm and urged several signs be placed to clearly indicate where the event is being held. During the farm’s seasonal business, Engstrom said people often turn around in his driveway or lawn.
“I know they’re real good about taking cars off the road at the farm. They are not good at taking them out of my front lawn,” Engstrom said. “It is difficult for people that aren’t from around here to figure out where the farm is sometimes.”
He said his property, along with two neighbors, has been damaged by cars turning around. He places a cone at the end of his driveway.
“We’ve had quite a few people banging on the doors all times of the day, especially in the autumn,” he said. “I would strongly encourage … to sign this thing well.”
Ten Eyck appeared unaware damage had previously occurred and said it was “terrible” that had happened.