Question: Where can you watch men in kilts eating Scottish eggs, adults playing in mud, and a chamber filled with displays of torture objects of the past?
Answer: The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.
Every year starting in February the Pa Renaissance Faire opens for a season full of old age traditions. Here at the faire you can experience the food, music, and entertainment from the medieval times. When you step through the gates of the faire gone are the days of the twenty-first century and enter the days of the sixteenth century.
We spent the day at the PA renaissance faire and discovered a world of new experiences.
Because it was Scottish weekend at the faire, our first stop was at the Scottish eating contest; where 12 men, wearing kilts, and one woman had to eat 34 ounces of food in five minutes even though the human body holds only 28 ounces of food.
Scotch eggs, bangers, and haggis were the foods the contestants had to force down to win prizes that consisted of tickets to the American Music Theatre and a gift card to Doc Holidays. The winner of the contest scarf down his food in three minutes and 55 seconds.
Next up was the Barely Balanced Acrobat Act where three acrobats balanced on a variety of objects while standing or holding each other and even sometimes throwing knives. This event was an amazing sight to see. These three performers put the human body to great lengths that we did not know were possible.
The MuckMaster’s Mud Show is a performance at the faire that nobody should miss. This show consists of three actors acting out an unusual version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet while rolling and splashing around in a mud pit. While the main plot is the same (the Capulets and Montagues families fighting one another) the specifics are twisted into a comedy full of underlying dirty meaning that keeps you entertained and laughing through the entire skit. This act surely is not a stick in the mud!
Not only does the faire offer performances, but they also have several different displays to view that show the lives of people from the sixteenth century.
One display in particular really captures the essence of the medieval times. The chamber of torture is a small museum that you walk through and view several displays of torture used in this time period. Hanging on the wall are inscriptions that describe the use for the torture item and have quotes about this time. The one inscription even explained how the term “having one for the road” came about.
In the sixteenth century the execution procession would stop at an inn for refreshments before heading to the gallows and which is how the common term was started. The one display even shows a woman attached to a wheel that had sharp needles at the base so that when they spun the wheel the person would be cut by the needles.
Aside from all the entertainment and exhibits the Pa Renaissance Faire also offers 22 Royal Kitchens that serve delectable food including big turkey legs like King Henry used to eat and there are over 100 guildsmen and artisans that have shops there where you can buy jewelry, pottery, outfits and much more.
You can also have readings done by a psychic and watch blacksmiths, glassblowers and herbalists create items from their craft.
The fair offers something for everyone and is something that everyone should experience because it transports you into a mystical time of jousting, music, acrobats, and torture.
“The Renaissance Faire is fun because it gives people the chance to dress up and be somebody else for a change,” said Annette DiLouie, vendor and manager at the Faire, “I think this is why it is such a popular place to visit.”
The faire’s regular season is open till October twenty-sixth on Saturdays and Sundays. After the twenty-sixth the faire offers their Edgar Allan Poe ‘Evermore’ where you can witness performances of Poe’s work, and in December they have their ‘A Dickens of a Christmas’ event where you can sit by the fire and hear the tale of the Christmas carol.