The Maryland Renaissance Festival begins its 39th season Aug. 29 and runs Saturdays and Sundays and Labor Day Monday through Oct. 25 at its festival grounds in Crownsville, near Annapolis, Md. The first three weekends, Aug. 29–Sept. 13, the festival reduces pricing for all attendees. No coupons or special purchasing is required.
The 27-acre Village of Revel Grove offers more than 200 professional performers on 10 stages, authentic combat-armored jousting in the outdoor arena, and streets filled with village characters. His Most Royal Highness King Henry VIII oversees the happenings. More than 140 artisans exhibit crafts in Renaissance shops, five taverns feature cool libations, and 42 food and beverage emporiums provide a vast array of treats to enjoy.
Walk the grounds and take in the sights or get into the spirit of the era in your own Renaissance costume.
Entertainment, art, and food galore
There is almost continuous entertainment on 10 stages featuring many returning favorite performers.
For more than 30 years, Shakespeare’s Skum has provided rollicking renditions of the Bard’s most popular plays in 20 minutes. Sword swallower extraordinaire Johnny Fox is participating in his 35th season at the festival. The Freelancer’s Joust Troupe thunders down the field. The witty and raucous Pyrates Royal offer their lively sing-a-longs. And, you can keep company with King Henry and his royal court as they walk through the village, entertained by minstrels, magicians, musicians, jugglers, and daring feats of skill. Throughout the season the most popular Renaissance acts from across the country appear in limited-run engagements
The Maryland Renaissance Festival’s reputation of unique and predominately handmade wares by the artists in their Renaissance shops is well deserved. You’ll find metal work, wood sculpture, jewelry, furniture, clothing, footwear, ceramics, stained glass, headwear, and glass art from the many demonstrating craftsmen in the shops and studios.
The King’s kitchens prepare a feast of delicious fare such as 1-pound smoked turkey legs, steak on a stake, fresh crepes, stuffed chili peppers, gyros, succulent ribs, a fresh seafood raw bar, and sweet concoctions. Sandwiches feature chicken, fish, crab, beef, and pork to be enjoyed with an array of ales, ciders, and wines.
Six themed weekends
All nine weekends of the Maryland Renaissance Festival are full of performances recreating the 16th-century English village, but six of the weekends include additional performers or special guests in special themed weekends.
Children’s Weekend is Aug. 29–30. One child age 7 through 15 is admitted free with each adult ticket purchased. Children 6 and younger are always free.
The Saturday Singles Party is Sept. 5, where visitors can meet other singles and join in special activities.
Sept. 6 is the Sunday Renewal of Vows Ceremony, which is open to all.
Sept. 7 is Seniors Day. All wise elders 62 and older are admitted free on Labor Day.
A Celtic Celebration is planned for Sept. 12–13. Celtic music will be featured throughout the realm at various stages and taverns, and caber toss demonstrations will be happening on the joust tournament field.
Pirate Weekend, Sept. 19–20, allows visitors to enjoy rousing special guests, as well as the raucous Pyrates Royal on stage and in taverns. Show up as your favorite pirate.
And, Sept. 26–27, the international recording artists Mediaeval Baebes return by popular request for special performances at the Blackfriar’s Theatre.
For more information:
Maryland Renaissance Festival: marylandrenaissancefestival.com