The Maryland Renaissance Festival – or “Ren Fest,” as many call it – is a hoot.
It’s a delightful way to spend a Saturday or Sunday between the third week of August and the third week of October – especially if you are interested in history, fantasy, costuming and, of course, ale.
Located in Crownsville, near Annapolis, the Maryland Renaissance Festival is set in a 25-acre fictional 16th century English village named “Revel Grove.”
The Ren Fest, which opened in 1977, features stage performances located around the grounds along with shops and stalls for finding the perfect Medieval gear such as shields, helmets, ball protectors (don’t ask) and gowns – which is just what you’ve been looking for, I’m sure.
The staff are all dressed in medieval costumes and they say things like “m’lord” and “m’lady” and “that’ll be $17.50.”
Guests are encouraged to wear costumes, too. When we were there this year, probably 15% of the customers were costumed.
The stage shows are a highlight. Spread over about a dozen venues, there are almost 50 different acts. These are some of the best . . .
- Puke & Snot
- Johnny Fox, Sword Swallower Extraordinaire
- Hack & Slash
- A Fool Named “O”
- Men In Tights
- Hilby, The Skinny German Juggle Boy
There is even a joust!
It turns out that the Maryland Renaissance Festival is one of a series of Renaissance Festivals, or Renaissance Fairs, or Renaissance Faires located around the United States. Some of the most successful Renaissance Fairs, in addition to Maryland’s, are located in . . .
- New York
- North Carolina
In fact, if you’re really into this stuff, here’s an even more inclusive listing of Renaissance, Medieval & Pirate Faires around the country.
Do yourself a favor and check one out!