Pictures: Your guide to the Maryland Renaissance Festival
From the food to the sights, here is what to do at this year's Maryland Renaissance Festival.
-- Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun
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Maryland Renaissance Festival( Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun / August 19, 2011 )
The Maryland Renaissance Festival, which begins this weekend, is a Tudor-palooza for Henry VIII addicts, a kilt-ish, cultish jamboree for Celtic music-lovers and a Shakespeare-flavored frolic.
It's costume party and craft fair, a moveable feast of food and entertainment that began in 1977 as a "ramshackle village" (according to the promoters) and is now a regional cultural magnet, attracting 280,000 patrons per year.
On stages and in pathways that thread around food stalls and craft shops, the festival brings history to unruly life. Performers in character interact with patrons. Aristocrats spread juicy court scuttlebutt. Medieval Lettermans and Lenos show off their ribald comedy chops -- sometimes while holding pork chops on a stick.
So many patrons show up in costume that it's hard to tell the actors from the audience.
When this year's festival opens Saturday, a patch of Crownsville will become (as always) "Revel Grove, Oxfordshire, England," and festival-goers will time-jump to a 16th-century harvest celebration.