On August 26, Crownsville will be transformed into a fictional village set in Oxfordshire, England for the annual Maryland Renaissance Festival.Starting on August 26, the Maryland Renaissance Festival will run for nine weekends through October 22. The festival, now in its 41st year, is modeled after a 16th century English village called Revel Grove. Each year the 25-acre festival village is lined with pottery and jewelry gift shops, food vendors selling Renaissance themed foods, pubs, performers and stages. This year's theme recreates 16th century England under the rule of King Henry VIII, and the story of the love triangle between Henry VII, Anne Boleyn and his wife Queen Catherine of Aragon. More than 200 entertainers will be recreating life in the 16th century for the 300,000-plus visitors expected during the nine-week run. The Maryland Renaissance Festival provides nonstop entertainment on 10 different stages as the nation’s most popular renaissance acts come to perform. During the final three weekends, theatre buffs will have the chance to watch performances by Baltimore Shakespeare Factory. On September 23-24, the troupe will perform scenes from “A Midnight Summer’s Dream,” and for the last two weekends, the troupe will perform scenes from their own version of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” Others may be more entertained by the Archery demonstration by James Frank, or the performances by comedy juggler Jeffery Daymont, while other performers, such as sword swallower Johnny Fox, are certain to keep everyone entertained and engaged.
Among the puppet shows, jugglers, dagger throwing tricksters, acrobats, five-minute street theatre performances, mimes, hoop artistry and more, there is perhaps too much to take in. Those who want to actively participate in the festival can rent 16th century costumes, while the 140 artisan vendors will be selling a vast variety of Renaissance-themed items and memorabilia. 42 different food vendors are expected to provide unique food and beverage options, complementing the event’s theme. The food selections also include a broad variety, from one-pound smoked turkey legs to ribs and gyros, and to several types of sandwich choice options. Visitors will not want to forget their wallets because the festival has gained a reputation for having the best handmade items available for purchase. This includes metal work, furniture, jewelry, wood sculpture, ceramics, footwear, clothing, headwear, stained glass and glassblowing. If you are thinking of going, you may want to go the first few weeks since the last weeks in October are often very crowded. Plus, the weather in October can sometimes be wet and chilly, which can make the grounds muddy and less enjoyable. Tickets are also cheaper for the first half of the nine-week run. Through September 10, adult tickets are $19, senior tickets are $17, and children’s tickets are only $8. After September 10, ticket prices increase to $25 for adults, $21 for seniors and $10 for children. Kids age seven and under are free throughout the nine-week run. For more info, schedules and tickets, visit the Maryland Renaissance Festival Website. Will you be attending? Let us know!