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Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire's 30th Season



At the 30 year mark the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire has established itself as a travel destination venue all its own, apart from the vagaries of tourism's ups and downs and economic swings to and fro. Its quarter million annual visitors arrive in a steady stream through the heat of August to the abundant crispness of September, even into the chill days of late October.
Since 1980 the Faire has grown from a sumptuous feast into a 12-weekend spectacular event that literally cannot be fully experienced in a single day. It is a feast of every sense: sight, sound, smell, feel, taste. Add to that laughter, aesthetics, artistry, theatrics, delight, and so much more, and one begins to grasp what awaits the person coming through the huge castle entrance for the first time.
Costumed Characters Galore

To be sure there are close to 100 costumed performers, but the Faire is also a feast of costumed craft artisans: the glass blower making before your very eyes vases and pottery from early Roman times all the way through Medieval to the Renaissance, medieval herbs, potions & botanicals handcrafted by the Shire's herbalist, dream pillows, the archer/bowyer, 2 authentic blacksmiths creating real swords and shields, and literally hundreds more in the craft shops, the food shops, the pubs and the winery, all of them in Elizabethan era costumes and dialect!
A Banquet of Food, Wine and Ale

Twenty two Royal Kitchens cook up an endless array of savory 16th Century foods and delicious traditional favorites sure to satisfy the heartiest of appetites. Enjoy giant roasted turkey legs, steak-on-a-stake, fish-n-chips, scotch eggs and soup served in bread bowls. Feast upon freshly baked pastries, heaping scoops of Italian gelato and more. At the Swashbuckler Brewery & Restaurant, delightful ales ranging from dark and robust to gold and smooth complement the hearty foods. The Checkered Knight serves wines and Renaissance Honey-Mead direct from the cellars of Mount Hope Winery. Select from a variety of the Faire's own-made soft drinks, freshly squeezed lemonade and frozen fruit concoctions.
A Plethora of Entertainment on 13 Stages
The fantasy unfolds on 13 open-air stages with over 70 shows daily. Marvel at sword swallowers, fire breathers, magicians, jugglers and dare-devil tumblers. Sing along with bawdy rogues and flirtatious wenches. Experience Shakespeare's plays on a three-story replica of London's Globe Theatre as they were performed in the days of old or laugh as the Shire's wackiest denizens perform hysterical Comedia Del Arte loosely based on the Bard's tragedies. Witness the truly amazing display of the Royal Falconer's birds of prey in flight. 
Be sure to witness the Match of Human Chess! Played on a massive 40' x 40' chess board, it is a spectacular stunt-filled extravaganza complete with swords, hand-to-hand combat and fast-paced wit. 
The excitements and adventures of the day build up to the impressive and dramatic Ultimate Joust, in the largest joust arena in North America. A tour d' force of lance, shield and ultimate equestrian skill, thousands of pounds of man, horse and steel gallop fearlessly toward each other. Lances shatter upon impact and noble knights fall to the ground during this lifelike battle. 
The entertainment does not stop at the stages. All along the Shire's streets, the Faire's hallmark form of improvised, interactive theater abounds as the citizens of the Shire carry on their every day "normal" lives entertaining with song, swordplay, or even mud begging. An entire section of the Shire is a gaming village where the medieval axe throw and crossbow are the extreme sports of the time. Children can take a turn on the Quintaine, a wooden jousting horse sliding down a cable so the youngsters might lance a brass ring for prizes. Man-powered rides, a fantastically merry fencing game known as the Fight Circle and a colorful Maze guarantee there is something for everyone. 
Come Back Again and Again
Throughout the season, the Faire offers specially themed weekends in addition to the regular activities, so there is always something new to see and do. Each themed weekend features headlining entertainment as well as contests and activities that Fairegoers can participate in. Among the season's highlights are Chivalry and Romance weekend, Invasion of the Pyrates, Children's Fantasy, Scottish & Irish Weekend, Oktoberfest, and Heroes of the Realm weekend in honor of all heroes past and present who dedicate their lives to helping and protecting others. 
The Perfect Ending to the Perfect Day
This playful trip back in time to the 16th century comes to a close with Finale in Song, an end-of-the-day extravaganza where the entire cast gathers to celebrate with song and dance. The wondrous fantasy unfolds Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day Monday for 12 weekends, 11AM - 8PM, August 14 through October 31. Adult admission is $29.95 and child admission, ages 5 to 11, is $9.95. Special ticket packages are available. Games, rides, foods, beverages and crafts are additional. Parking is free. Visit for complete show details, advance click-to-print discount tickets and helpful tips for a fun-filled Faire day. Information is available through the Faire Box Office by calling (717) 665-7021. 
The Faire is set amidst the splendor of the formal gardens of Mount Hope Estate & Winery, Route 72, ½ mile south of PA Turnpike Exit 266, 15 miles north of Lancaster and 14 miles east of Hershey. 

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