Before there was Jamestown, there was Elizabeth’s England.
When Elizabeth Tudor came to the throne in 1558, her country was nearly bankrupt after grinding years of war overseas and fiscal mismanagement at home. Unemployment was rampant; there had been years of brutal winters and drought summers. The original “war of Northern Aggression” – a simmering rebellion from the northern peers – was a constant threat to the young queen. England was considered the poor stepchild of European culture and learning.
Elizabeth looked at what was available in the husband department, found no one even remotely suitable with whom to share her life and throne and chose to remain single both as a ruler and a woman. Known from then on as the “Virgin Queen,” she cast her gaze to the west, sending brave mariners to find a peaceful new land for settlement and a source of supplies for the beleaguered Isle of England. The land they found, they named in her honor: VIRGINIA.
Join us to celebrate this founding spirit at the Virginia Renaissance Faire!
For 5 weekends each spring, a tiny town called “Staffordshire” springs up in the woods and fields of Lake Anna Winery in Spotsylvania, Va. Founded in 2001, the Faire is an interactive, family-focused event that employs hands-on activities, a firm grasp of history and a talented cast of improvisational actors to create a day in mid-16th century England during the early reign of Elizabeth I.
With merchants, food mongers, the local militia including the camp cook and a host of merry townsfolk, the town welcomes Queen Elizabeth on her annual Progress. A bevy of glittering courtiers, the knights at the joust, the coursing hounds and Her Majesty’s Archers accompany Her Grace. The faire is filled with demonstrations and hands-on activities for all ages. The joust is preceded by an Arming demonstration showing the armor up close and how it’s worn. Bring a case to the Court of Common Pleas or the Ladies Court of Love and when the cast dances, they’ll teach you the steps.
Shop the wide variety of artisan merchants while enjoying some of the best food around. The faire has gluten –free, diabetic-friendly, vegan, and vegetarian foods and baked goods so no one will go hungry. The stages host musicians, acrobats, magicians, and storytellers. Sample the selection of beers, cider, or meade in the Barleycorn Tavern or visit the wine garden, across from the Woodland Stage serving the wonderful Lake Anna Winery products.
The Virginia Renaissance Faire is produced by Out of the Woodwork Productions, a 501(c)3 as an educational entertainment entity, believing that people really do want something more for their money and that “something‟ is to come away not only entertained but knowing something new. Learning is personal and the faire couples learning with lasting memories.
Open Saturdays and Sundays, May 13 – June 11, 2017, 10:00am–5:00pm. Tickets $10, children 5 and under, free. Site is grass with gravel paths but accommodates scooters and wheelchairs. NO PETS PERMITTED.
Learn more: www.VaRF.org, 703-508-5036