Critic's picks: Eclectic

Lords and ladies, knights and jesters, wenches and minstrels of all shapes and sizes -- and, of course, hermits. If it's fall, it must be time for the Maryland Renaissance Festival, a celebration of Elizabethan England that, for more than two decades, has made its home amongst the forests and dales of Anne Arundel County. The 2011 storyline has Henry VIII and wife number six, Catherine Parr, visiting an English village (that's where you come in) to celebrate his 35th year on the throne and maybe marry off his son, Edward, to the young Scottish Queen Mary. Feel free to help him celebrate (and connive) by eating plenty of meat-on-a-stick, quaffing multiple mugs of ale and sampling the many crafts and shows throughout Revel Grove. Forsooth, you can even rent and dress in period costume. --Chris Kaltenbach The Renaissance Festival runs Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 23 on the festival grounds, 1821 Crownsville Road. Daily tickets run $9-$19; multi-day passes are available. Information: 410-266-7304 or
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