A Day at the Virginia Renaissance Faire

Photo by Michael Kleen

Jousting, comedy, and merriment at this slice of Elizabethan England in the American South

Only open for a limited time in early summer, this classic Ren fair has all the charm of its counterparts without all the crowds. Hosted annually at Lake Anna Winery, 5621 Courthouse Road in Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia, the Virginia Renaissance Faire is open for five weekends, May 11th through June 9, 2019.

Journey to the fictional village of Staffordshire, where the regal queen and her court will grace the lowly peasants with her presence. Entertainment, food, dancing, and sport re-creates the spirit of Merry England.

Virginia Royalty at the Faire

Her Royal Majesty bestows knighthood on another loyal subject. The royal court was fun and lively, with skits and colorful costumes. Kids were invited to take pictures with the queen and become knights. They put a lot of effort into these historical costumes. According to founder Cornelia Miller Rutherford, “The cast garments are historically accurate.”

Circus Stella, a one-ring circus featuring Dextre Tripp, Jayna Lee, and their performing puppies, was one of the most popular acts, with several shows per day. It’s an hour-long act featuring fire and animals doing tricks. It’s great fun for adults and kids alike.

I stopped by the tavern for some old timey refreshment and caught a family folk band called Sybling Ryvalrie. I was impressed with the effort they put into their act, even if the jokes were as corny as an episode of Full House. Their show features Irish dance, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and bodhran instruments.

This was the smallest Ren fair I’ve ever been to, but that’s not a bad thing. The village is compact and you quickly become familiar with your surroundings. It’s easy to go from one stage to another, which is useful when multiple shows are going on at the same time. Unfortunately, I missed the afternoon joust because a thunderstorm swept in, and as soon as I saw lighting, I was out of there. The Virginia Renaissance Faire is only around for a couple more weekends, so I’d make sure to get there soon if you can.

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Author: Michael Kleen

Michael Kleen is an author, raconteur, and occasional traveler. He has a M.A. in History and M.S. in Education. He enjoys studying military history, folklore, and philosophy.

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