Welcome to a time of knights, lords, queens and serfs. Festivals, acts of valor, food, drink and merriment abound. Chivalry is at its height, except among the peasants, and King Henry VIII and his royal court are here to be entertained. Welcome to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire!
Located at the Mount Hope Estate Winery, the 34th annual Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire season began Aug. 2 and will continue to welcome guests on the weekends until the end of October. The Fairground, appropriately dubbed “The Shire,” has been the setting of countless unique experiences, shared by all who attend this spectacle of a forgotten time.
Many vendors sell hand-crafted goods and clothing, many varieties of food are available to sample, guests can try medieval-inspired games like archery and ax-throwing and theatrical performances are always underway in some part of the fairground. Reenactors and characters roam the streets, saying hello and playing around with the guests throughout the day, each meeting a type impromptu personalized performance.
Themed performances create a grand story that takes the entire day to tell. Spanning across multiple amphitheaters, main characters make their appearances and include the audience in the theatrical antics. The main story wraps up with a live jousting match making use of special effects, pyrotechnics, music and loud celebrations before the grand finale takes place in the Faire’s version of the Globe Theater.
If the main narrative isn’t what a faire-goer is looking for, there are many other shows available throughout the day, ranging from musical performances, comedy skits, and demonstrations of acrobatic prowess.
Dressing for the part is not only allowed but encouraged.
Fancy a bit of piracy or would a better choice be Nobleman or woman? What about a knight, barbarian or archer? Any character one can imagine is allowed, but human characters are not the limit, as elves, fauns, wizards and other fantastical creatures stroll down the wooded paths and dirt roads. Guests can come in costume, purchase pieces to make an outfit at the fair or visit the fairground in their everyday cloths. All types of dress, be they fancy or funny, are welcomed.
Almost every weekend that the Fair is open, it hosts a different theme. The first weekend is the “Grand Arrival,” where all the characters return to the Shire for the beginning of another season of excitement.
“Time Travelers” caters to Steampunk enthusiasts where bronze-plated gears spin and Victorian-theme futuristic inventions, fizz, whir, and come to life; “Pyrate Invasion” sees hundreds of buccaneers stirring up trouble in the streets and taverns, and the three-weekend-long “Halloween Daze & Spooky Knights” hosts trick-or-treating for children, costume contests and imaginative decorations inspired by medieval fantasy.
Tickets are available online, at the gates and even inside the fairground. Special deals periodically become available, giving lower group-prices for larger parties or discounted single admissions. Visit parenfaire.com for directions, hours of operation, pricing, and other information to help plan a trip to this fantasyland of swords, shields and excitement. Step back in history to a place where time stands still and fantasy has become a reality.