Return of the Renaissance

Meeting festival guests on Feb. 17, the Queen sits on her throne in the Royal Pavilion.

The 31st annual Renaissance Festival will be returning to Arizona on from Feb. 9, and will stay open until March 31. Every weekend brings a new theme to the fictional land of Fairhaven, ranging from “Pirate Invasion” to “Time Travelers.” Along with weekly themes, the festival brings shops, shows, jousts and 17th century food.

“My family tries to go every year. For us, it’s a fun way to get out and do something together that we all love,” senior Eliza Wilcken said. “The first two years, we ate turkey legs and watched Adam Crack and it’s been a tradition ever since.”
From witches and wizards to fairies and knights, patrons of all ages enjoy dressing up as Renaissance and fantasy figures or popular characters. For some, it’s the main attraction.

“When I was younger, I used to dress up as a princess with a blue dress and this year I hope to get another costume,” senior Ishani Marin said. “Most likely a female knight, or an elaborate prince or princess outfit.”

No matter how old, there’s a show for every patron. There are family-friendly shows like “Gypsy Geoff” and “Barely Balanced” for the kids. The more adult shows, such as “The Washing Well Wenches” and “The Tortuga Twins,” are marked Loose Cannon (LC), which is their way of recommending parental guidance. Of all the shows, the jousts are among the most popular, specifically the ending show–Joust to the Death.

“I can’t wait for the jousts,” senior Kimberly Perez-Martinez said. “My favorite knight is Sir Larison. I saw him last year, and he didn’t win but he did start a fight with the other jousters. He had a lot of attitude and I liked that.”

The festival is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, including President’s Day. Tickets are available for sale online for $27 for adult tickets and $17 for children 5–12 as well as at Fry’s for a discounted price. More information about festival days, themes and ticket prices can be found at http://arizona.renfestinfo.com/.

(Featured Photo Courtesy of AZCentral.com.)