Happenings in the Heights; the Medieval Festival at Fort Tyron Park

The Medieval Festival is an annual celebration held at Fort Tyron Park.  For this day only, the park transforms into a medieval market decorated with bright banners, processional flags, and odd and authentic archaic characters.  The event will take place at 190th street and Fort Washington Avenue on Sunday, October 1st from 11:30 AM to 6:00 PM.

For the past 33 years, Fort Tyron Park has served as a host for the Medieval Festival. The festival captures the essence of the Middle Ages with authentic medieval music, dance, and food, as well as jugglers and jesters. On the south lawn, guests can experience a thrilling afternoon joust between four knights on horseback. Visitors are welcomed to come wearing their best original garments and participate in the costume parade; do not be surprised of how many fair madams, knights, and miniature dragons you will see.

With its rich history and Romanesque feel, it is no wonder that Fort Tyron Park is the perfect place for the Medieval Festival. Going back to the 1700’s, Fort Tyron Park was held as a battle site for the Revolutionary War. The park was known as Mount Washington before receiving its name after British major-general, William Tryon (1729 – 1788).  Moving forward to the 19th century, wealthy New Yorkers started investing in the park by building estates around the area and then after the control of John D. Rockefeller,  designing and developing the property as a park. With the help of designers, the Olmsted brothers and their son, the park transformed into what it is today.  

In 1938, The Met Cloisters opened up in the north end of the park when Rockefeller bought a vast collection of medieval art.  Designers created the museum to look like a European monastery and included several pieces of courtyards and cloisters from actual monasteries. Finally, in 1983 the city designated the park as an official landmark. Since then, The Fort Tyron Park Trust and NYC Parks has invested and given the park, much-needed care and attention to preserve this landmark.

Fair madams, turkey legs, jousters, and the view of the palisades along the Hudson makes any Sunday day magical. Admission to the festival is free but vendors will be located along the park selling medieval inspired items. The festival is for the whole family to enjoy and gives an opportunity to experience the middle ages while visiting a remarkable part of Washington Heights.

To learn more about the festival and the park, please visit:




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