Just in case you’ve missed the other 8,693 times I’ve mentioned it on the blog, the Maryland Renaissance Festival is, hands down, my favorite annual event in the DC area. It begins in late August and runs on weekends through late October, producing a whole 16th-century village teeming with merriment every year.
We made our first excursion of the season there this past weekend. We try to go at least twice each year, as one day never feels like enough to enjoy the many, many festivities, plus there are pros (and cons) to going at different times. Early in the season, crowds are smaller (because it’s usually hot), and the admission fee is lower. Later in the season, the cool, crisp weather and autumn foliage adds some extra splendor to the visit (but also draws the masses).
It has become somewhat of a tradition to go with friends who we know enjoy it as much as we do, in the same way we do. We have a fairly laid back approach… we like to casually stroll around and take it all in, stop and watch performances as we happen upon them (generally, anyway), grab lot of bites to eat throughout the day, sip on snakebites as we wander, and let the kids enjoy lots of games and activities. Yes, this does mean we’re paying beyond admission, but costs for concessions and activities are quite reasonable, and we plan ahead to spend on them.
Two shows we usually make a point of catching are the jousting matches and Wheel of Death. The former is a fantastic display of medieval pageantry as knights on horses battle it out, and the latter showcases a man performing amazing acrobatic feats on a towering contraption that looks like a hybrid of a windmill and hampster wheel. Unfortunately, we decided to skip the joust on Sunday because of the blazing heat and lack of shaded seats. The Wheel of Death, however, takes place under a lovely canopy of trees, so there was no missing that!
I’ve written about Ren Fest a lot, including pretty recently, so I’ll just get to the scenes from our day. It really is a fantastic time, in my opinion, and I’d love to hear what all of you think about it if/when you go. Huzzah!
Maryland Renaissance Festival
Where: Revel Grove | Crownsville, MD ( get directions)
When: Weekends August 25 – October 21, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $19-26/adult, $17-22/senior, $8-11/age 7-15, free/6 & under