The Maryland Renaissance Festival brings history to life

Sept. 7, 2005, midnight | By Henry Loeb | 15 years, 4 months ago

Annual event is fun for all ages

Walking through the open wooden gates you notice the strange dress of the people around you. Men are attired in kilts or armor and carry a wide array of weaponry; women are dressed in leather or lace gowns with little crowns of flowers. You may think you have entered a time portal. But no, you have just entered Revel Grove at the 29th Maryland Annual Renaissance Festival.

The Food

Just about anything you could possibly want can be found "on a stick" at the Renaissance Festival, including sausage, cheesecake, shrimp, beef and chicken. Also, there are the classic turkey legs that you carry around as you gorge yourself. Another retro repast is a thick, chunky soup served in a bread bowl, allowing you to eat not only the soup but also its container. With the prevalence of of meats, the "Ren Fest" is not the place to go if you are a vegetarian.

The Entertainment

While you are looking for a place to enjoy your delicious afternoon meal, wander down to the various entertainment events that are offered. First and foremost is the jousting, where knights gather from all over the world to joust in Revel Grove before an audience of appreciative lords and ladies. If comedy is what you are looking for, go to the Jury Rig Stage. There you can watch Hack and Slash, the comedy duo as they entertain you with swords and bullwhips, drinking and rapier humor.

A popular event is Shakespeare's Scum, held at the Lyric Stage and the Globe Theater. In the play, they reduce one of Shakespeare's plays into 30 minutes of laughter and political humor. If you are looking for some grotesque feats of human anatomy, then check out Johnny Fox the sword swallower or Barto the human pretzel.

No day is complete without a witch burning so travel on down to the Lyric Stage at around 5:30 p.m. Maybe you will be selected as the next contestant for burning!

The Music

The range of musical attractions includes traditional Renaissance music, Celtic music, harpists, fiddlers, dancing drummers and one act billed as a "short annoying man with a guitar." Many of the musical offerings include bawdy humor and political satire. If you are feeling sentimental, you can pay a strolling minstrel to serenade the person of your choice.

The Shopping

As at any entertainment event in the world, there are, of course, plenty of shopping opportunities. For the girls, maybe you want a set of devil's horns, a crown of flowers, roses, dresses and scarves. For the guys they sell wooden swords, armor, chain-mail, costumes or even a wax hand.

For more traditional gift purchases, check out the glassblowers, the potters, the stonemasons, the woodcarvers and the metalworkers. Stop by for a demonstration of artisans' skills on Kenwood Lane. Indulge yourself with a head wrap, have your face or body painted or adorn yourself with a henna tattoo.

The Games

For those who prefer to participate in the action, opportunities abound. You can drench the wench, shoot a crossbow, learn to juggle, swing Thor's mighty hammer or throw an axe. You can immobilize your younger siblings in the stocks. You may choose to ride a pony or even an elephant. Whatever your inclination, you will find something to entertain you.

The Maryland Renaissance Festival runs every weekend through October 23
in Crownsville, Maryland, from 10:00a.m. - 7:00p.m. For more information call: 1-800-296-7304 or check out the website

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Henry Loeb. Henry Loeb is a teen who would like nothing better than to play X-box all day long. He is a little obsessed when it comes to Halo 2 and Fable but he doesn't let that get in the way of his writing abilities. In the … More »

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