Attention M’Ladies and M’Lords – Renaissance Festivals!


by Frank Kovalchek via wikimedia commons

Although spring is often considered the season of festivals and street fairs, there’s one type of festival or fair that stands out more than most.

Renaissance Fairs or Festivals are held around the world at various times throughout the year.

Some are one or two-day affairs, while others go on for a month or more. Some are simple festivals held in pastures with tents put up for the event.

Many though are elaborate recreations of Elizabethan towns complete with pubs and public areas.

Today we’ll talk about some of the ones being held in the next few months around the US. Renaissance Festivals are family-friendly, if a bit bawdy, but lots of fun for all!

by Jeff Kubina via wikimedia commons

The Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California, located in Irwindale each year from April through late May, is the oldest in the US, originally held in 1962. Unfortunately, it finished up for 2015 last weekend. But you can plan for next year!

The Georgia Renaissance Festival, located in Fairburn, is held weekends from mid-April through June. It started in 1985. Check the website for special ticket deals.

The Maryland Renaissance Festival, held in Crownsville, is scheduled for late August through late October. This one started in 1977.

by Frank Kovalchek via wikimedia commons

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival in Shakopee started in 1971. It’s held from mid-August through September.

In Tuxedo, New York, the New York Renaissance Faire has celebrated since 1978. It’s held in August and September. Also in New York, the Sterling Renaissance Festival is held in Sterling during July and August. It started in 1976.

The Oklahoma Renaissance Festival in Muskogee started in 1995 and is held during the month of May and the first weekend of June.

The Tennessee Renaissance Festival is held in Arrington-Triune every May. It started in 1985.

by Frank Kovalchek via wikimedia commons

In Spotsylvania, Virginia, the Virginia Renaissance Faire is held from mid-May through mid-June. It’s been around since 2002.

And in Columbus, Warren County, Pennsylvania, the Wild Rose Renaissance Fair is held in early- through mid-June. It started in 2007.

Numerous others are held in the fall and winter. Some have camping, others are one-day-only affairs. Fairs are also held in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and throughout Europe.

by Frank Kovalchek via wikimedia commons

If you’ve never been to a Faire, it’s hard to completely explain it. It’s part craft fair, food fair, performance fair, all with performers and many guests dressed in Elizabethan costumes and many spouting matching accents. There are strolling musicians, jugglers, and magicians as well as period games including jousting matches. And you’ll almost always see guests enjoying their huge turkey legs!

Like many other fairs, performers travel from one festival to another. And fans (a dedicated group) also follow the fairs, dressed in their period finery. You don’t have to dress up, though, to enjoy the festivities. But be prepared to purchase wooden swords, hair ornaments, and food – lots of food – and drink!

So if you’re looking for something different to do this weekend, you might consider checking on the Renaissance Festivals in your area. Have a turkey leg for me!

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