The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire began as a publicity stunt to promote a Lancaster County Winery when it changed hands in 1980. So successful was the event that the owners decided to make it an annual affair – and now over 250,000 visitors come to the Faire every year and it is the centerpiece of the year round events that are held on the Winery’s extensive grounds.
Every weekend performers stage over 90 different shows and there are 22 permanent ‘kitchens” that serve a huge variety of food and drink.
The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire sets itself up to emulate a specific year, 1590, a time when the great Queen Elizabeth I was at the height of her power and the fictional shire it is set in is called Mount Hope.
There is also a permanent back-story for the village, that thanks to a widespread outbreak of the plague actors and musicians , as well as The Queen and her court, have fled to the safety of Mount Hope, explaining why there are so many of them there.
The extensive selection of food and drink on offer highlights not only the traditional Renaissance Festival fare such as stake on a steak and turkey legs but also the fresh natural produce. Manheim, PA is located in the heart of Amish Dutch country so fair-goers have the chance to sample great cheeses and other local specialties as well.
When It is Held:
The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire is open every Saturday and Sunday from Labor Day to the last weekend in October.
Archery Displays – The History of Archery show is staged every day and is one of the most popular and informative of the Faire’s shows, featuring professional archery displays (with the archers dressed appropriately of course) and brief instructional lessons for volunteers.
Themed Weekends – Many of the weekends feature a specific theme and prizes are awarded for both adult and child costumes that best represent the spirit of the theme. The most popular theme weekends include Pirate Invasion Weekend, Scottish Weekend, Children’s Fantasy Weekend at the Halloween themed weekend that closes the Faire every year the Halloween Daze and Spooky Knights Weekend.
The Joust – As is the case at a number of Renaissance Festivals, The Joust is one of the highlights of the days entertainment and attracts a huge crowd. The group that stages the joust go a little further than most though, offering basic stage combat instruction to selected members of the audience after every performance.
For more information and tickets: http://www.parenfaire.com/