Fort Tryon Park

The Daily Plant : Friday, September 30, 2005


photo by Spencer T Tucker

Two of Park & Recreation’s most-loved annual events will take place this weekend, both offering New Yorkers the chance to catch a glimpse of beautiful raptors in flight, while also offering a variety of other fun and festive activities for the whole family to enjoy. The Falconry Extravaganza will be held this Saturday, October 1, and the Medieval Festival on Sunday, October 2, both free of charge and promising a full day’s worth of excitement and education:

Falconry Extravaganza
The 8th annual Falconry Extravaganza will take place in Central Park’s East Meadow, at Fifth Avenue and 97th Street, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Onlookers will witness the magnificent flights of a variety of bird of prey, including the tawny eagle, harris hawks, a saker falcon, and a Verreaux eagle. Expert Falconers will be on hand to answer questions and educate spectators as they get up close with the bald eagle, African spotted eagle owl, and red-tailed hawks. Visitors can also learn about the numerous ecology programs offered by the Urban Park Rangers. Commissioner Benepe will join the Rangers and world-renowned Master Falconer Jemima Parry-Jones at 1:30 p.m. to talk about these fascinating creatures of the sky.

This year marks the first time Parks has partnered with the International Center for Birds of Prey for this event. The center, a non-profit educational and conservation organization in South Carolina, provided all of the birds for the Extravaganza. It is home to nearly 200 birds of prey representing 78 species from 6 continents. The center’s medical clinic treats hundreds of injured hawks, owls, falcons, ospreys, eagles, and other birds of prey each year, releasing the majority back into their natural habitat.

Medieval Festival
The area around the Cloisters Museum in Fort Tryon Park will be transformed into a medieval market village where knights in armor, jugglers, jesters, magicians, musicians, storytellers, and puppeteers will perform during the annual Medieval Festival. Peddlers and potters, bakers and brewers, clothers and weavers, artists, musicians, hunters, book binders, dyers, engravers, and an apothecarist will all display their crafts. Performers and fairgoers will be dressed in historical costumes and Medieval foods and craft items will be sold.

The falconry element is new to the festival this year, and will feature a hawk watch, conducted from 1:00 2:00 p.m. at the northern end of the beautiful Heather Garden. So if you miss out on the chance to see them at the Falconry Extravaganza, the Medieval Festival will offer yet another opportunity to witness these birds in flight and learn about the ancient art of falconry and the annual raptor migration.

The event will take place from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. A choreographed living chess game will take place at 3:00 p.m., and the afternoon will culminate with a thrilling joust between knights on horseback. Commissioner Benepe, Council Member Robert Jackson, and Assembly Member Scott Stringer will join the Royal Court in the Opening of the Tournament at 4:00 p.m.

For 20 years, the Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park has been presented by the Washington Heights & Inwood Development Corporation, a privately and publicly supported not-for-profit corporation, in conjunction with Parks & Recreation.


"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference."

Elie Wiesel
(born 1928)

Directions to Fort Tryon Park

Was this information helpful?