Festivals in New London

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A crack rings out from the jousting arena as armored knights clash in the pursuit of honor, while sword-swallowers thrill crowds with their death-defying art, jesters spin windy jokes, and townspeople in 15th-century garb roam the grounds tearing into turkey legs with their teeth. The Connecticut Renaissance Faire hosts these medieval-theme blowouts every year, including the Robin Hood Spring Festival and King Arthur’s Fall Harvest Faire. Under the themed umbrella of each gathering, actors caper about a constructed medieval village, engaging in Old English–flavored conversation and clapping games with fair-goers. In a tented marketplace, vendors sell beaded crafts, art, and tyrannical-king repellent alongside stands serving mead, beer, and other satisfying sundries. Although the shows and events vary at each fair, past spectacles have included archery displays, pub sing-alongs, and costume parades.

347 Gilead St
Hebron,
CT
US

Fronted by British-Nigerian lead singer Sade Adu, Grammy-winning band Sade has seduced eardrums with a potent mélange of R & B, soul, and jazz for nearly 30 years. Performing songs from the new compilation album The Ultimate Collection, Sade will delight fans with greatest hits as well as a smattering of brand-new songs, melding soul-stroking vocals with eye-tickling dancing and onstage spectacle. Special guest John Legend will also throw his honeyed voice into the ring, soothing ears that have been damaged by the cacophony of city life and the screeching of prima-donna chalkboards.

1 Mohegan Sun Blvd
Uncasville,
CT
US

The fun-loving gal behind Fun Girls Night Out has been coaxing ladies to cut loose at her glamor-centric events since 2008. She and her team host extravaganzas up and down the East Coast that invite women ages 21 and older to drink, eat, shop, and dance?but mostly to have fun. Each event is unique, introducing guests to a different lineup of vendors and entertainment, but a Fun Girls Night Out always lavishes ladies with a martini bar, wine tastings, makeovers, fashion shows, and dancing. As women peruse jewelry, handbags, and cosmetics, they might sip a cocktail or nibble on gourmet appetizers while listening to live musicians. Often, ladies can even stop at a psychic booth for advice on whether they should take a job in a new city or just learn telekinesis to move the job's office to this city. And those lucky enough to be one of the first 1,000 women to arrive will receive Fun Girls Night Out's signature pink bag, which is loaded with beauty product samples, coupons, and special offers.

60 Connolly Parkway
Hamden,
CT
US

The Preservation Society of Newport County protects and showcases Newport's one-of-a-kind architectural heritage. During tours of Newport's museum-houses, visitors get a glimpse into three centuries of American history, from the French Baroque styling of Rosecliff, high-Victorian splendor and fancy French name of Chateau-sur-mer. Tourists can trace the steps of some of America's most wealthy families as they explore latter-day castles such as Cornelius Vanderbilt II's The Breakers or the Isaac Bell House. Special events give guests a hands-on insight to the everyday people that worked in New England's most famous mansions, while annual occasions such as the Newport Flower show celebrate the treasured traditions and landscapes of Newport each year.

424 Bellevue Avenue
Newport,
RI
US

Now in its 16th season riding the rails, the Newport Dinner Train whisks up to 200 passengers through the lush lands and rich history of Aquidneck Island. A 44-ton diesel engine powers the locomotive, which pulls vintage 1940s dining cars, similar to the ones grandparents had to haul barefoot through the snow on their way to school each morning.

19 Americas Cup Ave
Newport,
RI
US

There's no such thing as bad beer-tasting weather. That's why Rhode Island Brew Fest hosts two annual festivals?one in summer, the other in winter. Both draw more than 30 area breweries, such as Grey Sail, Trinity Brew House, and Proclamation Ale. Together, they ply revelers with samples of more than 100 unique brews, all of which can be enjoyed in a complimentary branded pint glass instead of drinking out of cupped hands. Strains of live music add to the festive atmosphere, and local food trucks and vendors serve up gourmet eats to complement the beer.

304 Thames Street
Newport,
RI
US