The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Renaissance festival celebrates ye olde reflections of past

By Katie Hudson-Martinez/feature editor

Hear ye, Hear ye; come one, come all to the 28th annual Scarborough Renaissance Festival, a celebration of America’s English roots and all-around good time.

The festival, a recreation of the first Scarborough fairs in 16th century England, is a perfect weekend destination for young and old alike. There really is something for everyone in the 35-acre “village.”

Entertainment is literally around every corner with more than 200 shows performed daily, games, rides and a seemingly endless array of hot food, cold beer and quaint shops selling everything from jewelry to hand-carved wooden pimp cups.

All employees and many of the guests don elaborate costumes from the period and most will not break character at all while at the fair.

Visitors can see virtually every aspect of Renaissance society from peasants, soldiers and warriors, to nobility and even royalty.

The women often wear corsets and long skirts, with their hair up in a combination of braiding and buns.

Various tradesmen, including blacksmiths, candle makers, leather workers and glassblowers, practice their craft just as it was done in olden times and offer their creations for sale.

At 1 p.m. each day, a grand parade travels through the center of the village showcasing the manner and dress of the times.

It feels like going back in time and connecting to history, and it’s also a whole lot of fun. 

The only slightly negative aspect is that it can be a little pricey (like most entertainment destinations), but it is still a unique experience and worth checking out.

The fair can be a bit overwhelming for first-time visitors, but programs, sold for $2 at the gate, include a detailed map and a schedule of show times with locations. The programs also list all the various shops and food offerings within the village.

Arguably, the entire park is entertaining, but a free show or a concert is going on at any given time somewhere in the park.

Most involve light-hearted comedy, and some feature death-defying stunts. Some are more suited to families with children, such as Dr. Kaboom’s exploding science and Stewart and Arnold (a father-and-son team who practice knife-throwing) while other shows such as Iris and Rose and Christophe the Insulter are rated PG-13.

Musicians range in style from Donal Hinley, playing tuned glasses of water, to Cast in Bronze, playing Renaissance heavy metal.

Rides and games are throughout the park, and although they are true to the time period, they are still exciting for the younger crowd.

The event includes two exhibits, a haunted house style dungeon of torture and execution and a Mythical Monster museum. Admission into these is $2-$3.

For the kids, if they are not riding rides, seeing a show, playing a game or getting their face painted, they can choose a petting zoo and a variety of interactive street-side training sessions to learn to fire a cannon or sword fight, with wooden swords of course.

Palm readers for $25 will give insight into one’s personality and predict where life may be heading.

Little girls and their moms may want to get their hair braided in true Renaissance fashion at the Twisted Sisters booth. Prices start at $13 for the simplest styles.

Shows: The Royal Falconer, Birds of Prey show and The Joust. Each are performed three-four times daily.

Music: The Rogues, a combination of Scottish bagpipes and primitive drums rock the house.

For Kids: The Grand Parade and the Children’s Knighting Ceremony.

Cuisine at the festival goes way beyond the traditional roasted turkey legs that are a staple of the fair.

Offerings include everything from spicy Scottish eggs to pizza, pasta, sandwiches and wraps and just about anything you can put on a stick (including, somehow, macaroni and cheese).

The fair offers a variety of alcoholic beverages, including a specially produced Scarborough Mead, frozen margaritas and peach bellinis.

To satisfy the sweet tooth, guests can find lots of desserts: everything from authentic baklava and 7-fruit smoothies to frozen yogurt and fried ice cream.

The turkey legs are good, but for something different try a Royal Scottish egg, hard boiled surrounded with spicy sausage and then fried. Canterbury pork pockets are a chopped pork sandwich served on a croissant with a side of home-made coleslaw. For dessert, Eve’s apple dumplings or the Royal Brownie Supreme, topped with hot fudge and vanilla ice cream.

Dates and Times:
Saturdays, Sundays and Memorial Day, April 5-May 26, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Ticket Prices:
Regular admission: $19.99 adults, $6.50 children (ages 5-12), children under age 4 and under are free. Discount tickets are available at Metroplex Tom Thumb stores.
Season passes: $70 adults, $15 children (ages 5-12).

30 minutes south of Dallas/Fort Worth in Waxahachie. 2511 FM 66.

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