Ahead of the 33rd Annual Medieval Festival, the Parks Department said the event hosts about 75,000 people. On Sunday, it's possible that record was broken, because Fort Tryon Park was packed with knights, princesses, fairies, jesters, Robin Hoods, friars, warlocks, unicorns, and, for some reason, two Marios from Super Mario Bros.
The sunny fall day was a perfect backdrop for throngs of people to clamor to buy swords, chain mail and floral halos before watching knights on horseback joust for glory. (Fun fact: Knights are good at trash-talking, as they hype themselves up between battles.) There were numerous demonstrations—sword swallowing! archery! live action chess!—for revelers to enjoy while taking in the stunning views.
For sustenance, there was a mix of fair foods, including bratwurst, fried dough, moussaka, strawberry lemonade and, yes, turkey legs, which prompted huge lines.
Overall, the event's inclusive nature made it an opportunity for everyone to dress up as whomever they wanted, whether medieval or not. Groups coordinated their costumes, and one bachelorette party had its members wear a badge that read: "One last joust before getting espoused."
Nearby Inwood residents took advantage of the huge influx of visitors by having tag sales or bake sales on the sidewalk. One father, supervising his daughter's bake sale stand, said that even though the festival started at 11:30 a.m., "There were lines of people at the Chase, getting cash, at 10 a.m."
Pro-tip for 2018: Arrive early to be able to walk around and explore the various demos and vendors with ease.