Sunday, February 22, 2009

21st Annual Arizona Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace, Festival Village, Arizona

The Renaissance Festival is a very large, annual festival which runs every weekend in February & March each year. If you are unfamiliar with a Renaissance Festival, it is set in Medieval times, thus all the buildings and staff are in authentic costumes and character. In fact, this spirit is shared by many patrons who also come dressed in medieval costumes, adding to the atmosphere of the festival.

The festival outside of Phoenix consists of many shows and events, a variety of food, artisan shopping, arcades and manually run carnival rides that were relevant for this period of time. The number of shows and events offered throughout the day was surprisingly large and with much variety - if you go, be sure you check the back of the festival grounds map for the schedule, and if you have kids, be sure you look for the LC rating of some shows (LC = "loose cannon", comparable to PG-13). The shows and events include musical acts, comedy, juggling and, of course, the popular jousting shows. The shows are free, but expect a hat passed around at the end of the show for tips. (The exception to this was the jousting display.)


The shows we saw included the Tortuga Twins (LC), the Birds of Prey Show and Lord Franko – Master Hypnotist. The Tortuga Twins are a comedy troop that tell a famous tale (we saw Little Red Ridding Hood) using people from the audience as well as adult humor. The show contained a lot of improvisational moments and was a lot silly of fun. The Birds of Prey Show is live bird demonstrations which provided educational information about each bird as well as live birds in action. It was quite interesting to see and learn about each bird. Our favorite show however was Lord Franko – Master Hypnotist. This was a hilarious, gut-splitting show where twelve people from the audience were hypnotized on stage and asked to do wacky things. Don’t miss this show and don’t be afraid to be hypnotized.


The food throughout the festival was reasonably priced and the quality was quite good. You can expect to find everything from slices of pizza, bake goods, Greek food, to the traditional roasted whole turkey leg (people were gnawing on them everywhere). Alcoholic & non-alcoholic drinks are also sold. Lastly, there are tons of artisan shops that are themed in Medieval times. You can expect to find handmade one of a kind items, Medieval styled clothing and accessories such as candles and pottery.

Overall, the festival (located east of the city of Apache Junction, right off Hwy 60) offered a full day’s worth of entertainment and fun. Brad was reluctant to go at first, but after spending the day, he was glad he did. If you haven’t been to a Renaissance Festival before, this would be a great one to attend.


Tips

1. You can save $2 on each adult ticket (prices at the gate are $20, $19 for seniors) if you buy in advance at any Phoenix area Fry's grocery stores.

2. Parking is free.

3. Only sealed water containers are allowed inside the festival grounds.

4. The festival grounds are wheel chair accessible.




1 comment:

Jerry and Suzy said...

We're a little late getting to this post, but we're here anyway. We have been twice to Renaissance Festivals, both in California. One time it was in a wooded area near Vallejo, CA. What fun, and the good old turkey legs are delightful!

Thanks for sharing your day with us.

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