Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire


I think I’ve been pretty adamant (and hopefully repentive) of the fact that I didn’t give Lancaster a fair shot when first got here and that there’s a lot to do in the area.  It’s getting to the point that I feel like I have to make up for lost time and one

One event I’ve decided to tackle in 2013 is the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.

Now I’ve avoided the Renaissance Faire for a couple of reasons:

A) It’s very close to where I work.  In general I try to not mix drinking with places I could run into students.  However, the older I get, the more confident I am that I can handle myself in these situations.  Growing up, right?

B) Prejudice.  Pure, unadulterated prejudice.  I thought that only weirdos who enjoy LARPing during their free time (Live Action Role’s fascinating, look it up on YouTube when you have some time to kill) went to the Ren Faire and that you were forced to talk in English accents and bow to “the queen.”  It didn’t seem like my idea of great fun.  What’s changed my mind is that several good friends have been the Faire and reported having a really good time.  I recently saw pictures on Facebook of a friend at one somewhere out west, so started looking into the local Ren Faire and was sold.

The Renaissance Faire  I’m speaking of is located in Manheim, Pennsylvania (20 minutes north of Lancaster and a convenient 1 minute from the Turnpike) on the 35 acres of the Mount Hope Winery and Estate.  The Faire is operational for 12 weekends from Labor Day to mid-October.  Inside the grounds are 23 food vendors, 12 stages for performances, the Mount Hope Winery (which my wino-sister gives two thumbs up), and the Swashbuckler Brewing company which has it’s own brewpub on the premises.  You could find more details by visiting the aforelinked website, but as I haven’t been there yet, that’s all you’ll get from me.

What piqued my interest in particular are the special events help on the premises.

On May 11th the venue holds a Beerfest.  The cost is $40.00 which includes unlimited tasting from an already impressive list of local and not-so-local breweries along with food and entertainment.

May 29th brings a food and wine festival, which isn’t my cup of tea, but it’s happening.

June 22nd & 23rd is the Celtic Fling & Highland Games.  Also $40, this event is a celebration of Celtic and Scottish culture including a concert by Gaelic Storm, whose most famous work you’re probably familiar with.

Finally on July 20th is the Blues & Brews fest.  It’s cliché to say, but I’m hungry just reading about this.  For $40 you get unlimited crabs, brisket and beer.  I will be hopefully be attending.

So if you, like me, judged Renn Faires, maybe this is the summer to give them a shot.  Pittsburgh has one too.

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