Royal Progress at the Maryland Renaissance Festival

The spirit of Tudor England comes alive at the Mid-Atlantic’s most popular Ren fair.

History and magic comes alive outside Annapolis at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, where a huge crowd turned out for Celtic Day last weekend. I was impressed! Jousting and chariot fights were the highlight of the day, but a menagerie of performers kept fair goers entertained throughout the day.

Chariot Race

Welcome to Revel Grove, Oxfordshire, England in the year 1532. King Henry VIII and his mistress Anne Boleyn visit the village as part of their annual summer progress. I didn’t see much of the King and his court, but it’s possible they blended in with the costumed crowd. Visitors were deeply committed to getting into the spirit of the fair.

A Magestic Ride

Rides on a colorfully-painted elephant were one of many amazing experiences for children. The Maryland Renaissance Festival is thoroughly family-friendly, with a huge play area for kids. What a great way to spark children’s imaginations!

Maryland Renaissance Festival

I was delighted by its size and scope, which must have rivaled Wisconsin’s Bristol Renaissance Faire (the one I grew up with). I’ve been to Ren Fairs all over the country, including recently to the West Virginia and Virginia fairs, and this was by far the largest, especially in terms of attendance.

Sir Keegan O'Connor

Sir Keegan O’Connor (played by Caleb Jordan), a long-haired Lothario, was a crowd favorite at the tournament. The knights showed off their skill on horseback as well as in combat.

Peasant Dance

The Maryland Renaissance Festival, 1821 Crownsville Road in Annapolis, Maryland, is open every weekend in 2019 from August 24 through October 20, 10:00am to 7:00pm. Be prepared to pay through the nose. Admittance is $27 for adults during peak season (September 14 – October 20), $12 for children ages 7 to 15.

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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