The Eighth Circle of Hell Known as King Richard’s Faire

Photo by Julie Dennehy

This post originally appeared on Yelp. If you like my reviews, follow me for more snarky points of view.

The first time I went here I was very happy because I found these chocolate-dipped Twinkies that tasted vaguely like my childhood, or perhaps like what obesity would taste like if I could dip it in chocolate.

To get a sense of what King Richard’s is like, you need to have gone to a theme park at some point in your life (I don’t care what kind, but Six Flags is probably the level of shittiness that would be most appropriate) and also gone to a “real” Renaissance Fair, you know the kind that’s mostly NSFW because it has lots of topless women in ringmail. But if you haven’t gone to either of these things, it’s kind of like being in the movie Role Models, except there’s no LARP going on and the only thing you can do in the place is watch Role Models or buy things.

The second time I went to King Richard’s, I realized it’s actually quite horrible. One of my goddamned friends didn’t get back to me fast enough on a Living Social deal that made the tickets $17 a piece, so we ended up each paying the egregious $32 fee to get in. The parking is free, thankfully, but it’s really a big oversight on King Richard’s part, because the fat tyrant could make even more of a killing if he charged $15 per car.

If you want to eat anything, which you will because there is little else to do, you’re going to have to buy “Food Vouchers” in increments of $5 (five tickets = five dollars), which are exchanged for food that, when purchased, always conveniently leaves you with leftover tickets that cannot be redeemed for cash or other things because nothing costs 1 ticket. A basket of french fries and three frozen chicken fingers cost 10 tickets, and a large soda is 5 tickets.

All other things you can do in the Faire cost real money (with the exception of live shows), like throwing blunt axes at a wall or sending your offspring into medieval-looking contraptions to run around. For example, we wanted to take photos of our weird friend Eric riding a wooden warhorse with a viking helmet and a felt tabbard, because we planned to distribute those photos in his workplace and thereby embarrass him. It costs five real dollars for him to “rent” a felt tabbard and sit on the wooden horse for three minutes. Guys, that’s like almost 3 cents a second.

The live shows are all very sad and uncomfortable to watch (this is probably why they are free), with the exception of Jacques the Whippeur’s show, and this is because Jacques the Whippeur is an undeniable badass. When we saw Jacques first, one of his legs was broken, so he walked around with a metal leg support thing, but he was still able to lite his whip on fire and pretend to be French and effortlessly quip vaguely adult innuendo like an episode of Adventure Time. If I could give my $32 fee and $15 chicken fingers and the $8 I spent on two chocolate-dipped Twinkies to Jacques the Whippeur, I would do that.

I will close by noting that during our second trip all of the bathrooms were broken except for this makeshift ring of port-a-potties the park put together like the Eighth Circle of Hell. The line to use this portable river of shit was longer than all other lines in the park, and there was no running water. That part was definitely very authentic.

King Richard’s Faire
235 Main St, Carver, MA 02330

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