The Maryland Renaissance Festival, a tradition for the entire family, begins its 46th season August 27 and runs Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day Monday through October 23 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 38th year with rollicking 20-minute renditions of the bard’s most popular plays; A Fool Named “O” and LaLa mimes; and King Henry and his royal court.
Minstrels, magicians, musicians, jugglers, daring feats of skill and artistry abound. Returning 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 Topsy Turvy, Markita’s One Woman Stunt Show; Piper Jones; and Hey Nunnie Nunnie’s song and patter delight. Hilby, the Skinny German Juggle Boy, amazes and confuses. The Danger Committee thrills with knife throwing and whip-snappery. The London Broil cooks up rare juggling well done, and in the 49th year of their 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, pickpockets, rakes and rogues for an entertainment experience not only to be seen but to be immersed amongst.
The Maryland Renaissance Festival’s reputation of having unique and predominantly handmade wares by the artists in its 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 will prepare sumptuous feasts 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 add to your table. Cool, mild drinks and an array of ales, ciders and wines cleanse your pallet and refresh your constitution.
The first three weekends, from August 27 through September 11, the festival reduces pricing for all without coupons or special purchasing required. Prices, special event info and full schedules are available at www.marylandrenaissancefestival.com.