I have lived in Texas for longer than I can remember. And one of best parts about living here is the annual Texas Renaissance Festival every Autumn. Located right outside of Plantersville, yeah there’s not much out there, in a small hamlet called Todd Mission, the faire is not only the largest one in the United States, it’s also the most prestigious. Groups travel from all over the world to attend (or work at) this gigantic festival. And if you have ever been, you know why. I’ve been going for over twenty years, though the festival is in its 39th year. My wife and I celebrated our anniversary there this year, as we have regularly attended since we got married twelve years ago. There’s always something new and amazing there, year after year.
We snapped tons of photos from this year’s Texas Renaissance Festival, which includes not only traditional renaissance costumes and events, but also shots of Princess Leia, stormtroopers, and the mighty Thor! Check them out in the Photo Gallery here below, and also watch our videos from the RenFest here below.
Spanning 55 square acres, the RenFest consists of over 400 actors who not only perform on the stages set throughout the park, but also interact with the guests all day long. And friends, let me let you in on a little secret…participation is the key. Just last weekend, my wife and I showed up late to Arsene Dupin’s comedy/magic show and he literally left the stage to steal my Dallas Stars cap and my adult beverage. He then proceeded to give them to another audience member. I eventually retrieved them, but the audience definitely had a laugh at my expense. All in good fun, though my frozen margarita was a bit melted by the time I got it back. Too many people go and don’t have fun while they’re there, which is unfortunate since these folks go well out of their way to make sure everyone has the chance to have fun.
And if you like to shop, it’s like an Etsy heaven there. Hundreds of artisans show off their handmade wares and in some cases you can watch them work. Blacksmithing and glassblowing are always big crowd pleasers, but don’t forget the candlemakers and the jewelers that are no less talented. There’s a coin-maker, too…you can even press your own coins if you are so inclined. I could go on and on, but you really have to see it to believe it. I’m a big fan of the weapon shops where you can buy knives, swords, and even pole arms! This year I was on the prowl for a new footman’s mace, it’ll look great next to my new flail that I got last year.
But if food and drink are more to your tastes (get it? Tastes?), then I must advise you that there is a plethora of food places and not a few pubs and taverns. The faire is loosely broken up into sections that cater to various palettes. You can get bratwurst and beer, spaghetti and wine, even Tex-Mex and margaritas. I always seek out the deep fried macaroni and cheese — trust me when I say it’s the greatest thing ever made. If you don’t believe me, then try it yourself!
Last but not least are the events. Regulars like The Ded Bob Show and The Sturdy Beggars Mud Pit are always popular, as are Christophe the Insulter, Arsene, and the Gypsy Dancers. The parades and the jousts are must-sees and there are literally dozens more. There’s more than you can see in a single day, so you might want to go for the whole weekend! But our favorite is always Sound and Fury. These guys perform what they call Fakespearian works that are both hilarious as well as bawdy. Definitely not for the children, unless you want to explain what some of the naughtier words might mean.
I hope this inspires a few of you to check this festival out, I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t love it. There really is something for everyone there. Though it is themed with the 16th century in mind, visitors aren’t limited in their modes of dress. Far from it! Why just this year I saw Thor, Leia, stormtroopers, and some Power Rangers. Cosplay takes on a wider range as you’ll see people dressed up in period costumes as opposed to characters or comic heroes. And while no one is critical of anyone’s choices, nudity is frowned upon since this is an all-ages venue. Get naked on your own time…the kids will discover that soon enough on the internet, right? I’ve taken lots of pictures and hope that you enjoy the slideshow! I’ll only say it one more time, give the Texas Renaissance Festival a try and you’ll wonder why you didn’t go sooner. Check out the schedule of this year’s events, which run through December 1, 2013.
Photo Gallery, page 1
As usual, if you see yourself in these photos, give a shout-out!
[All photos by Waerloga69 for Geeks Of Doom.]