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RennFest is BACK, and we couldn’t be more pumped. So pumped that we went through the past to check out some of our favorite stories at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, like:

  • G.W.A.R. Does Not Joust  -in which we tried to take GWAR to Renn Fest but GWAR wouldn’t go with us, but we still went, and it was great (this link also includes a vimeo of MOSHING IN KILTS, and is worth clicking on for that reason alone, if for nothing else).

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  • Heavy Mettle at RennFest -in which FATBACK men and friends take on the faire. There is a decent amount of WEAPONS talk in this one.

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ALL THREE highly, HIGHLY recommended for your morning reading.

+ if clicking of those was not enough, SOME SERIOUS WORDS OF MOTIVATION FOR THIS YEAR, Courtesy of Mary Beth McAndrews:

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Photo courtesy of Sara of Nihilitia (from our 2007 coverage of Renn Fest)

The Food

Everyone knows about the giant turkey legs, but do they know about the plethora of other foods available right at their chubby fingertips? One of the best options is a Scotch Egg: a hardboiled egg coated in a sausage-scrapple mixture then deep-fried. Simple, greasy, delicious. Then there’s everything served on a stick. Steak on a stake, fried macaroni and cheese on a stick, fried pickles on a stick; basically anything you can fry is put on a stick. Utensils are a waste of time. Make like Henry VIII and just shove your face into the greasy mess. Check out some of the food stands here. (Don’t worry, there is plenty of beer.)

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Photo courtesy of Sara of Nihilitia (from our 2007 Renn Fest coverage)

The Jousting

Jousting is the state sport of Maryland so if anything you should go to show support for your state. Guys riding horses and smashing each other in the chest with giant wooden sticks, why wouldn’t you want to watch that? You can sit, have a beer (or three), and cheer for your favorite knight (favorite because you like the colors he’s wearing). Plus, you can get up and leave whenever you want. So if it isn’t your thing, at least you can sit down for a while.

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Photo courtesy of Dakota Fine (from our 2010 Renn Fest coverage)

The Giant Slide

Yeah, yeah, it sounds childish but this slide is the best! To give you an idea of its size, you have to hike up a hill to get to the line. Then, you sit on a carpet and hold on for dear life as a Renn Fest worker cackles as they shove you down the slide. You can also ride with a friend which could offer some comfort to those terrified of heights or moving at fast speeds on a carpet. I always feel bad for the guy at the bottom who has to catch you so you don’t go flying into a food stand. He takes one for the team.

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Photo courtesy of Dakota Fine (from our 2010 Renn Fest Coverage)

The Creepy Torture/Medieval Creature Museum

Maybe I’m just a huge creep but this is one of my favorite parts of Renn Fest. It’s my favorite, not only due to the content, but also because it’s never crowded and it’s shady. The museum is full of recreations of medieval torture devices and murals of the devices in use. It’s gross, it’s morbid, it’s interesting. Then there are the fake medieval creatures encased in giant jars. I’m talking grotesque fairies and all the other creepy stuff that go bump in the night. Warning: don’t bring kids in there unless they’re tough as nails because they might cry (I know I did when I was younger).

Photo courtesy of Sean Peoples (from our 2008 Renn Fest coverage)

All of the shows

I mean just look at the schedule! There are shows happening constantly. You could go to Renn Fest just for the shows alone! There’s fake sword fighting, crass comedy, acrobatics, and more. Choose a stage and see what happens. The best acts are the ones you almost literally stumble upon. Just like jousting, you’re free to leave whenever you want so you aren’t obligated to stay (just be ready for certain performers to call you out).

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Photo courtesy of Dakota Fine (from our 2010 Renn Fest coverage)

 The Renaissance Festival opens this weekend at 10 a.m. Opening weekend is Kids Weekend so all kids under 11 get in free. You can buy tickets at gate or online, there’s no difference in ticket price. Check their website for special events, such as Pirate Weekend and the National Jousting Competition. The festival runs until the end of October.

Go forth, be merry, drink beer, and stuff your face.

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Photo courtesy of Dakota Fine (from our 2010 Renn Fest coverage)

For the uninitiated, RennFest is held at 1821 Crownsville Rd‎, Annapolis, MD and runs on the following dates from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.:

  • August 24, 25 & 31
  • September 1,2, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 & 29
  • October 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 & 20

Check out a full list of performances, too!

 

 

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