The Maryland Renaissance Festival, a tradition for the entire family, begins its 45th season August 28 and runs Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day Monday through October 24 for nine weekends of thrills, feasting, handmade crafts, entertainment and merriment in Crownsville.
The 27-acre Village of Revel Grove comes to life each autumn with more than 200 professional performers on 10 stages, a 3,000-seat arena with armored jousting on magnificent steeds, and streets filled with village characters. Join King Henry VIII in the forests and glades with over 140 artisans exhibiting crafts in their own renaissance shops, five taverns featuring cool libations, and 42 food and beverage emporiums providing a vast array of succulent and sweet treats to sate even the heartiest of appetites.
The almost continuous entertainment on all 10 stages features many returning performers: Shakespeare’s Skum in its 37th year with rollicking renditions of the bard’s most popular plays in 20 minutes; the charming and beguiling talent of A Fool Named “O,” the mime; and walk with nobility through the village with King Henry and his royal court. Minstrels, magicians, musicians, jugglers, daring feats of skill and artistry abound. Returning to the festival this season is the jousting troupe Debracey Productions, with a field full of horses, men in armor, chariots, trick riding and thrills for all ages. Major additional acts include The Wheel of Death, Valkyrik, Topsy Turvy and Piper Jones.
Throughout the season, popular renaissance acts from across the country bid you to visit. Those include Hey Nunnie Nunnie’s song and patter delight; Hilby, the Skinny German Juggle Boy, who amazes and confuses; the Danger Committee, which thrills with knife-throwing and whip snappery; The London Broil cooking up rare juggling well done; and in the 48th year of their enormously popular comedy sword-fighting and witty repartee, Puke and Snot bedazzle with their fast-paced humor. Add in a village full of stilt walkers, beggars, hermits, wenches, pick pockets, rakes and rogues for an entertainment experience not only to be seen but to be immersed amongst.
The Maryland Renaissance Festival’s reputation of unique and predominately handmade wares by the very artists in their renaissance shops is among the best in the realm of festivals. Metal work, wood sculpture, jewelry, furniture, clothing, footwear, ceramics, stained glass, headwear, glassblowing, and many demonstrating craftsmen fill the shops and studios.
The king’s kitchens prepare a sumptuous feast of delicious and wondrous delights to satisfy most any lord or lady. One-pound smoked turkey legs, steak on a stake, fresh crepes, stuffed chili peppers, gyros, succulent ribs, a fresh seafood raw bar, sweet concoctions and tender sandwiches of chicken, fish, crab, beef and pork with bountiful servings of all manner of sides will add to your table. Cool, mild drinks and an array of ales, ciders and wines will cleanse your pallet and refresh your constitution.
the first three weekends, from August 28 through September 12, the festival reduces pricing for all without coupons or special purchasing required to offer family friendly entertainment pricing. Tickets beginning September 18 through October 24 are for peak season. For prices, special event info and full schedules, go to www.marylandrenaissancefestival.com.