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Huzzah! Turkey legs and corsets!
By Starling Root
This time of year, suburban Annapolis, Maryland regresses at least 400 years. Labor Day may mean the death of summer, but it also means the birth of the fall season--also known as renn faire prime time.
August 25th marked the Maryland Renaissance Festival's 36th season, heralding nine weekends worth of historical merriment in the biggest renn faire on the East Coast.
Over the course of the festival, over 200 professional performers conquer 10 stages with their niche acts. Even authentic jousting in full metal armor can be included in one of the event's many spectacles. That's not to mention the 140 artisans tabling their wares, which range from hand-carved swords to leather masks to painted gourds and more. Five taverns and 42 food emporiums serve up everything from mead to snow cones. Other diversions include fortune-telling, themed rock-climbing, face-painting, dart-blowing, and more. And if you forgot your costume, you can even rent one.
Quail Bell hit the renn scene on Sunday, September 2nd, catching a show from Shakespeare's Skum and a concert by Wine & Alchemy. Shakespeare's Skum, a comedy troupe whose work centers on Shakespearean plays, put on a game show. Three audience members had the chance to guess character names and plays in a challenging, Jeopardy-style contest. The winner scored tickets to Medieval Times in Arundel Mills, Maryland. Wine & Alchemy, on the other hand, presented a mesmerizing melange of world music and belly-dancing. They played everything from French troubadour tunes to Carmen's "Habanera." We deemed both performances Quail Bell approved.
Regardless of your budget and schedule, the Maryland Renaissance Festival offers diverse options every weekend from now through October 21st. Enjoy a $7 discount on all adult tickets now through September 16th. 2-day, 6-day, 9-day, and season passes are also available. Children under age 7 go free.
Editor's Note: Do you have pictures of your own adventures at the Maryland Renaissance Festival? We'd love to post them! Please send your photos as .JPG attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and city in the body of the email.