Friday, September 16, 2016

Renaissance Newsletter #20

Past Faires, News, and Events

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is purchasing land for what might be its home starting in 2020

Mid-America Festivals, the company that operates the Renaissance Festival near Shakopee, has purchased 150 acres of land…, according to Deb Schaber, marketing and communications manager for Mid-America.

“We still need about 150 more acres in order to make it an effective site, so we’re currently trying to buy more,” said Schaber. “If that doesn’t happen, we’ll keep it for investment purposes or sell it off for someone else. We are currently looking at other locations as well…”

The 150 acres that were just purchased was owned by the John Marks family. The area is appealing because it has a combination of flat land, which is necessary for parking, and trees to provide shade and ambiance, said Schaber.

The Renaissance Festival has been operating at its 150-acre location off Highway 169 and Highway 41 in Shakopee for 46 years, but …excavating near the parking lot of the Renaissance Festival, making the site less feasible for use as time goes on. Mid-America Festivals plans to keep the festival there through the 2019 season…

Regional Wedding bliss for St Leonards couple at medieval-themed ceremony

A couple from St Leonards tied the knot in full medieval garb on Saturday (August 27). Rather than opting for a traditional church ceremony or going to the register office, Martin White, 53, and Sally Yuen, 45 decided to have their wedding at this year’s Medieval Festival at Herstmonceux Castle, against a backdrop of jousting, battle seiges and medieval music…

The ceremony, attended by 18 guests dressed in medieval costume, was held in the 15th century castle’s Elizabethan Room. There was a banquet for guests and the couple, as well as surprise flowers laid on by festival organisers. Martin said: “With a lot of help from the organisers of the festival, the castle and the registrars from Eastbourne, our day was so special. “There was a seige re-enactment taking place outside the castle during the ceremony and this added a medieval flavour to our wedding.

Indie Spotlight: ‘Knights Of New Jersey’ Brings ‘The Office’ To The Renaissance Faire

Within every subculture there exist moments, characters, and relationships that are ripe for parody, and for the world of the Renaissance Faire, Knights of New Jersey puts those moments on display. Creator Mike Hadley‘s web series about the men and women who act as Medieval-era individuals is both a mocking satire of Ren Faire nerds and a loving tribute to them…

While watching the series, it would be easy to assume Hadley himself is a former Ren Faire employee, but that’s not the case. Instead, he is a simple observer who has discovered all the fun characters who inhabit the Ren Faire and rendered them in loving detail. “Some of them are very open-minded about people who come to the fair, and then there’s other Rennies who are a little more hardcore…”

His attention has paid off. The personalities in play here are large and engaging, and the comedy is a delightful mix of high fantasy and low Jersey. Come, thee, and check out Knights of New Jersey. If you like what you see, you can also look at All’s Faire, which was one of (if not) the first web series to take a comedic look at the subculture.

The new musical, titled Huzzah written by Tony Award-nominated songwriters Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin.

Huzzah!, a new musical about the world of Renaissance Faires written by husband-and-wife duo Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, had a reading at Williamstown Theatre Festival in August starring Disaster! Tony nominee Jennifer Simard.

“Hopefully more cool things will come of that,” O’Keefe told by phone. “We’re going to hopefully do some big readings before Christmas, so I don’t want to give away too much! I want to be tantalizing if that’s okay.”

The cast also included Tony Award winner Michael Rupert (Sweet Charity, Falsettos), Herndon Lackey (Parade, Les Misérables) and P.J. Griffith (American Idiot, Giant), among others…

The story is about a family-owned mom-and-pop-type operation that is threatened mostly by its own family dysfunction…

Lakewood Lions Renaissance Faire (NJ)

…World Champion Jouster, Shane Adams, host of History’s Full Metal Jousting and his troupe, The Knights of Valour….

The park was bustling with story tellers, musicians, singers, dancers, and villagers welcoming you to a festive day of living history. The air wass filled with the scents and smells of food: roasted turkey legs, fish ‘n chips, steak on a stick, dragon dogs, cheese steaks, and funnel cakes.

Belly dancers, tribal dancers, and gypsy dancers appeared at the caravan stage.

On the main stage and throughout the village were sword swallowers, comedians, magicians sword fighters, wizards, jugglers, stilt walkers, poets and those who will provide merriment for all ages…

Lake Augusta Renaissance Festival  (PA)

…For the everyday festival-goer, Robert Roush… said inexpensive yet effective costumes can be created using ordinary clothing.

“There’s some simple things you can do, and all you’d have to do is throw on a pair of sandals and you look like you walked out of Robin Hood,” he said.

For women, Roush suggested matching a simple white lace top with a long peasant skirt. Men can also easily re-create the peasant look by donning a farmer’s shirt with a pair of brown pants and popping on a Renaissance-era hat. An easy friar look can be achieved by wearing a simple household or choir robe and tying it with a piece of rope, he said.

“All of a sudden I look like I’m from a bygone era,” he said.

Festival-goers who are lacking even the basics or are seeking a more authentic look could stop by a booth near the entrance hosted by Ben’s Costume Closet and pick up some grab-and-go costume items…

Roush said a costume is not required to attend the festival but encouraged because it adds to the fun…

Theatrics of all sorts are welcome at the festival, and Roush said local theater groups sometimes come as audience members and add to the excitement with impromptu performances….

Maryland Renaissance Festival

18 great photos:

England’s Medieval Festival - Herstmonceux Castle

In its 24th year, and thought to be the largest of its kind in the UK, the event took place from August 27 to 29. People enjoyed a range of activities and entertainment, such as jousting; falconry; daily grand parades, battles and an evening torch-lit procession; six stages with daily theatre, music, dance, storytelling and more; and hundreds of craftsmen, traders and workshops, such as wood weaving, blacksmith forging, calligraphy, brass rubbing, candle making, and stone carving. There was a four-course banquet in the castle’s grand ballroom.

Other attractions include an archery tournament, battle siege and medieval music. For children there is Kid’s Kingdom with circus skills workshops, dragon puppet shows, castle carriage rides and magicians…

For people wanting to make a whole weekend of it there is camping and glamping, or you could even live like a King or Queen and sleep in a Herstmonceux Castle room for the night overlooking the moat and beautiful gardens…

Michiana Renaissance Festival (IN)

Mishawaka's Kamm Island Park was transformed into the Kingdom of Kamm for Michiana's 6th annual Renaissance Festival, and last for two days only.

There are four different themed areas inside the 7 1/2 acre Kingdom:  The Medieval Era, The Golden Age of Privacy, the Time of the Vikings, and a Fairytale Storyland. 

Each area has their own different shows, re-enactments, games and vendors for visitors to enjoy.

Jon Zook started the festival six years ago.  His favorite part is watching all of the children in attendance, pretend that they're princesses and knights.  This is the first year the festival will have jousting demonstrations…

Day of Change Renaissance Faire (IN)

Hear ye, hear ye. The fifth annual Day of Change Renaissance Faire is making its way back to Foster Park. The event will take attendees on a trip back in time as the Empire of Chivalry and Steel will recreate the Middle Ages,…

There was food, entertainment, games, prizes, merchants, candle dipping, a blacksmith, and more..,

Complete article:

Utah Renaissance Faire

The Utah Renaissance Faire…featured artisans, educators and entertainers.

This year the event expanded to include performances from the Belarus-based band Stary Olsa and a second theater company, but will still maintain the fun and educational spirit of the event, Assistant Director Spencer Shattuck said.

“It’s cool that Utah is excited about this,” Shattuck said. “I think as we go on, this being our fifth year, we find more and more people that have a lot to offer with education, music and art.”

Shattuck was actually interested in starting his own festival when he was invited to the first Utah Renaissance Faire by its director, Richard Thurman, and founder five years ago. He said he wanted to get involved after attending the event….

Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire

… A court of Lords and Ladies in full outfit—petticoats and collars—paraded to-and-fro between the royal tent and the half-timber towers of the front gate. Knights in full leather, chain mail, and plate armor grappled in the jousting field. Even the paying visitors braved the heat in wool cloaks and fur wraps.

The cashier at the crepe stand must have been no older than sixteen. She wore green eye-shadow, a brown, felt, lace-up vest over a frilly peasant dress, and corn-row braids on the just the right side of her blond head. So, sort-of renaissance-y. In this way she fit in with much of the rest, where decoration depended as much upon historical accuracy as fantasy and budget. The Red Dragon Pub was really a beer garden with a fence around it. Canvas cubicle shops sold everything from steel swords to paper parasols. Costumes ranged in authenticity from hand-embroidered leather to LED fairy wings..

I looked forward to Cirque du Sewer, supposedly the world’s one-and-only acrobat, cat and rat performance. At the hottest hour of the afternoon, acrobat Melissa Arleth wore her black bloomers with red polka dots and a matching corset over a red peasant top. Her hair was wound up in two buns, like rat ears. Sweat hovered on her face as she performed splits, handstands and walked the slack line. Pad Kee Meow, the acro-cat, reluctantly balanced on Arleth’s head, desperately panting. Of the acro-rats, only sprightly Bubonique could be coaxed off her chilled sleeping pad to run the gauntlet.

The knights! I was friends with a few of the knights—they throw awesome, Viking-themed birthday parties—, so I made sure to show up early and secure a front row seat on the bleachers for their jousting contest. The knights were divided into four teams representing England, France, Spain and Germany, and one knight from each team competed on horse, doing everything from chopping at rotten cabbages nailed to a post, throwing spears at targets on hay bales, spearing wicker hoops with their swords, and, of course, jousting. In between these events, ground-fighting knights squared off with swords, spears, daggers…


I cried myself hoarse, cheering, “Vive la France!” I winced at the bang of lance impacting shield. I had to concede that Spain’s rider the best, because of how precisely he sliced those cabbages in half. Back in time, people came from far-and-wide, and in their best costumes, to brave the heat and cheer on these exact same games. In my frilly skirts, I could be the Medieval Italian peasant girl Berenice for the day. Don’t mind my cellphone or rose-tinted sunglasses. They’re magic from the fairies.

Gold Coast Renaissance Faire (Australia)

…Described as “an impressive time travel experience in a brilliant sea of colour and excitement”, the event will feature over 50 costumed performers that will mingle with visitors and address them in the manner of Elizabethan England.

The event will take place over two full days and will feature an array of live entertainment including jousting, horse archery, swordplay, live theatre, pirate adventures and parades.

Sword Fighter is a historical fencing club located on the Gold Coast. They aim to produce world class sword fighters by drawing upon documented historical resources such as the longsword and rapier.

Co-founder and instructor of Sword Fighter Alex Roberson said they had big plans for the Renaissance Faire this year.

“Not only will we be putting on demonstrations, we will also be running lessons on sword fighting for the public,” Alex said…

The Renaissance Faire will be open to all ages, and will also feature craft stalls, food and drink outlets, costume contests, pony rides, and a fairy garden…

“Renaissance and medieval culture is very popular right now and it’s great that Gold Coasters won’t have to travel to capital cities to experience it.”

The Renaissance Faire is a family-friendly event and will be held at the Robina City Parklands from October 2-3 (the Queen’s Birthday weekend)…

Renaissance Faire People

Mike Hamilton

Mike Hamilton has been doing a magic show at the Utah Renaissance Faire since the first year. Outside of the event, Hamilton performs for schools and corporate trainings and uses magic to teach a message about topics like bullying and safety.

“Usually I’m just Mike Hamilton,” he said. “But at the Renaissance Faire, we dress up in the time period clothes and we talk funny like they did.”

Hamilton said performing at the Renaissance Faire gives him a chance to inspire and teach people like he enjoys doing but gives him a chance to use a different twist…

Each year Hamilton is able to perform magic and talk to about 75,000 students, which is something he said he loves doing. He uses the awe-inspiring aspect of magic tricks, the moment when the magic actually happens, to teach, motivate and encourage people to make important life changes.

At the Utah Renaissance Faire, Hamilton does three shows — two on Friday and one on Saturday — where he incorporates cannonballs, fire and birds into his act.

Matthew Porter

…The owner and operator of American Fencers Supply, Porter is also known in the North Bay for his many years as an actor at the Heart of the Forest Renaissance Faire in Novato, where he played a colorfully crude pig farmer. He also provided fencing equipment for the fair's popular fencing academy attraction. Porter had been operating the fencing-supply business from his former home in Pacifica until just weeks before the Clayton fire….

All but one house on their cul-de-sac was destroyed. In addition to losing the house and a lifetime of belongings, Porter's workshop and warehouse—containing his entire stock of fencing equipment—was also lost. The website for the business now bears a tiny statement: "Closed until further notice due to Clayton fire."

Porter has served the U.S. fencing team as its chief armorer for over 18 years, with the Brazilian games marking his third Olympics. The armorer is the one in charge of maintaining the team's equipment, which is a bit more complicated than just polishing swords.

"Fencing is electronic nowadays," Porter explains. "When one opponent scores a touch, an electronic sound goes off. Being the armorer means that if that sound doesn't happen, I did something wrong."

A team of friends, fencing enthusiasts and folks from the Renaissance and Dickens fairs have launched a fundraising campaign to help the Porters with the goal of raising $100,000 to rebuild their home and business. They had no insurance. The U.S. fencing team has already contributed $2,000…

Shawn Howland

An upwardly mobile former “pirate” who is now part of the royal court, Shawn Howland usually is cheering on the bad guys when it comes time for jousts at the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival near West Newton…

Howland, 41, is in his seventh year as a cast member with the festival that depicts a world combining the European milieu of the early 16th century with a few fanciful elements such as fairies and an invisible unicorn.

Following previous appearances as a member of the king's guard, a Scottish lord, a shire deputy and a pirate captain, Howland has portrayed Admiral Howlin' Mad Jack Howland, warden of the Cinque Ports, for four years…

For Howland, the Renaissance festival provides the perfect outlet for his lifelong interest in acting.

“I've been involved in performance since I was 3,” he said, noting it's a skill passed down by his parents, who appeared in community theater and on the professional stage.

College studies on a vocal performance scholarship and a stateside stint in the Army have taken Howland from his native Connecticut to New York City, Washington, D.C., Texas and Arizona, where he attended his first Renaissance-themed event as a patron.

Settling in Western Pennsylvania in 1998, he became involved with theater groups in Greensburg and Pittsburgh. He continued his education at Seton Hill University and auditioned there for the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival cast…

Howland is “very interactive. He's always out and about and making people at our festival feel a part of what we're doing,” said Jim Paradise, vice president and director of marketing for Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Festivals, which operates the Pittsburgh event.

Howland said his “Mad Jack” character has allowed him to be involved in all levels of society portrayed by the festival cast. As an admiral, he is a member of the royal retinue and has the power to rule on mock court cases. But he pointed out that the character began as a pirate from the lower classes…

Howland may be best known to many for his work at the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival, but it's not his only gig. Joining the community of vendors, he's traveled as far away as Texas to sell kilts at other renaissance events.

Early this year, he teamed with Matt Hughes of Pittsburgh, whom he met at the Pittsburgh festival, to perform Celtic tunes and sea shanties as the musical duo Crossed Cannons. They've appeared at the Enchanted Lakes Renaissance Faire and Marketplace in Angola, Ind., and at a venue in upstate New York. They're hoping next to enter the recording studio, Howland said.

Howland noted the immersive, improvisational nature of the Renaissance festival is what makes it so appealing for attendees and cast members…

Fascinating, complete article and lots of pictures:



The J. Paul Getty Museum plans to acquire Virgin with Child, St. John the Baptist, and Mary Magdalene (about 1530-40) by Parmigianino (Italian, 1503-1540), one of the most celebrated painters of the Italian Renaissance. Extremely well-preserved, the painting is a supreme example of the artist’s mature Mannerist style and represents sixteenth-century painting at its finest.

Francesco Mazzola, better known as Parmigianino—a nickname derived from his native town of Parma—is one of the greatest Italian painters, draughtsman, and printmakers of the sixteenth century. During a career that lasted only two decades, he executed a wide range of work, from small panels for private devotion, to large-scale altarpieces and frescoes, to brilliantly executed portraits. Few painters had a greater influence on the art of their century, and his intellectual and elegant style spread far and wide, despite his very brief life.

The unconventional iconography of this painting typifies Parmigianino’s innovative work: the Christ Child turns from the Virgin Mary to embrace his young cousin, John the Baptist, whose hands are joined in prayer. Mary Magdalene holds the Christ Child under his arms while looking back at the Virgin. Intended for private devotion, the intimate religious subject exhibits Parmigianino’s characteristic polished and enamel-like paint surface and exquisitely rendered details; the lush landscape, elaborate hairstyles of the two women, interplay of hands, and still life with the jewels of Mary Magdalene enhance the transcendent beauty of the composition. Parmigianino executed the painting on paper laid down on panel, a unique feature in his surviving work, and one which reflects his accomplishment as a draughtsman.

“Pope Clement VII hailed Parmigianino as ‘Raphael reborn,’ and his style was extremely influential during the course of the sixteenth century,” says Davide Gasparotto, senior curator of paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum. “This painting, with its impeccable provenance and exceptional state of preservation, shows the artist at the peak of his maturity.”

The painting complements a number of the Getty’s existing Italian Renaissance paintings, including

Head of Christ (about 1530) by Correggio (about 1489-1534), and

The Rest on the Flight into Egypt with St. John the Baptist (about 1509) by Fra Bartolomeo (1472-1517) and works by Giulio Romano (before 1499 – 1546), Sebastiano del Piombo (1485-1547) and Jacopo Pontormo (1494-1557).

Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel may contain hidden symbols of female anatomy

…Over the past few years different researchers and historians have shown how Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine Chapel contains numerous codes and hidden messages that tantalize art historians, scientists and the general public. Of most interest is in understanding why the codes have been inserted and what the real purposes are.

For example, a few years ago researchers, using imaging equipment, discovered that the depiction in ‘God Creating Adam’ in the central panel on the ceiling was a perfect anatomical illustration of the human brain in cross section.

In addition, in the painting ‘The Separation of Light from Darkness’ in the center of God’s chest contains an anatomically precise depiction of the human spinal cord and brain stem.

Adding to the run of mysteries, new analysis suggests that Michelangelo may have concealed symbols associated with female anatomy when painting the chapel's ceiling….

Medieval Paintings at the Heart of a Lawsuit That Reflects 2oth Century History

Adam & Eve, by Cranach the Elder

In the early 1900s, Adam and Eve were owned by an aristocratic Russian family, but were seized after the 1917 Russian revolution by the Soviet regime. In 1931, the Soviets sold the Cranach at a Berlin auction to Dutch-Jewish art dealer Jacques Goudstikker. When Germany invaded Holland, Mr Goudstikker fled, leaving behind more than 1,000 artworks.

No less an art collector than Hermann Goering, the Third Reich's second-in-command, grabbed Adam and Eve for his country estate near Berlin. After the war, Allied forces recovered the painting and returned it with other art works to the Dutch government.

On a parallel track, Mr Goudstikker, the Dutch-Jewish art dealer, was killed in an accident while fleeing the Nazis, leaving behind a son, Edward von Saher. The latter married Marei Langenbein, a German ice skater.

At this point, the Russian nobleman reappeared and reclaimed the works, which he sold in 1971 to Norton Simon for his museum.

Mr and Mrs Von Saher moved to Connecticut. After the death of her husband, Marei von Saher entered the court battle in the late 1990s to recover the Cranach painting, taken from her late father-in-law Jacques Goudstikker…

Word and Image: Martin Luther’s Reformation

Five hundred years ago a monk in a backwater town at the edge of Germany took on the most powerful men in Europe—the Holy Roman Emperor and the Pope—and he won. Martin Luther’s Reformation ranks among the most successful religious movem ents in history, altering western society and culture forever, and was a testament to his creative use of communications, notably rapidly evolving print technology, to promote his views.

To mark the historic anniversary of Luther posting the Ninety-Five Theses to the church door in Wittenberg in 1517, Word and Image: Martin Luther’s Reformation , a new exhibition opening at the Morgan Library & Museum on October 7 , explores the evolution of his movement and its triumphant propagation in text and art. The exhibition will remain on view through January 22. 

Word and Image includes more than ninety objects, highlighted by one of the six existing printed copies of the Ninety-Five Theses, and nearly forty paintings, prints, and drawings by the celebrated German Re naissance artist Lucas Cranach the Elder. Also on view will be Luther’s manuscript draft of hi s famous Old Testament translation, sculptor Conrad Meit’s exquisite statues of Adam and Eve, and over thirty of Luther’s most important publications. The majority of the works in the show are loans from German museums and have never before been exhibited in the United States.  

Lucas Cranach the Elder, Martin Luther, 1529. Oil on panel. 41.9 x 28.5 cm. © Fotothek Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein Gotha, Cat. No. 227.


I. Young Martin

Martin Luther (1483–1546) was raised in Eiselben, Saxony. His father Hans Luder (later changed by Martin) came from a wealthy farming family, and Margaretha Lindemann, his mother, was from a middle-class background. Hans was a respected and influential mining operator in Mansfeld. The family was quite prosperous judging from the size of their home and the material found there through archaeological digs.

Martin was sent to the best schools and brought up in a world structured by Christianity. Devotion was expressed through daily prayers and performing a set of prescribed rituals or good works (attending Mass, going to confession and on pilgrimage, buying indulgences). Artworks, books, and all manner of visual material focused piety on the active presence of the divine in daily lives. The fear of sin was real. There was a constant need to seek the aid of Christ and the saints to save you from the fires of Hell. This was the world Martin was born into. 

II. Indulgences and the Ninety-Five Theses

Martin Luther was not the first to speak out against the sale of indulgences, which were customarily prayers or fasts undertaken to reduce punishment and seek forgiveness for sins, but in time evolved into the payment of fixed sums of money attached to various offences. Many at the time thought that the practice of purchasing salvation was an abuse of faith and merely a way to fill papal coffers. Through his groundbreaking lectures on the Bible at the University of Wittenberg, Luther came to doubt the validity of indulgences and other Church practices that were not explicitly supported by Scripture.

In 1517, Luther summarized his views on how to reform the church in his landmark Ninety-Five Theses, which he boldly nailed to the church door at Wittenberg Castle, as would be done for any other university announcement. The heading of Luther’s Theses states that they were a series of points for a university debate on the scriptural validity of the practice of selling and buying indulgences.

Luther’s criticisms partly reacted to a popular notion that buying an indulgence was akin to a ‘get out of jail for free’ card. The disputation never happened, however, as news of Luther’s criticisms reached his ecclesiastical superiors, both through Luther’s own actions and the fact that the theses were printed and distributed in single-sheet broadside and pamphlet editions. In addition to two broadside editions, the Theses also appeared in quarto (pamphlet) format from a press in Basel, nearly 450 miles away.

The printing press helped Luther’s words spread far beyond Wittenberg, which turned a local university debate into an international event. In this case, it is both Luther’s words and their method of distribution that are important to understanding how the Reformation happened. We do not know how many copies of the Ninety-Five Theses were originally printed—perhaps 100 or less for each edition—but today only 6 copies of the broadsides exist and 15 of the quarto.

III. Luther Goes to Trial

Luther willingly submitted his Theses and other writings to his superiors. However, arguing against centuries of Church tradition, even when claiming the Bible as primary source material, was dangerous. Ultimately, Luther was called before Emperor Charles V and the full assembly of imperial nobles at the Diet of Worms in 1521 to defend himself and his publications against the charge of heresy. Both in his trial and his dealings with the pope and emperor, Luther stood firm in his conviction that all religious doctrine and practice should be based upon Scripture and that everyone was entitled to share in the grace of God. 

While his famous statement, “Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise,” is a later interpolation, it nonetheless perfectly encapsulates his conviction that what he wrote was religious and secular-themed subjects, and designs for hundreds of woodcuts for book illustration.

IV. Luther’s Translation of The Bible

After leaving Worms, Luther was ‘kidnapped’ by his friends and taken to Wartburg Castle to protect him from the emperor. Artist Albrecht Dürer, a strong adherent to the Lutheran movement, feared that Luther was dead. Removed from the demands and dangers of the outside world, however, Luther now had uninterrupted time to focus on his most important endeavor: translating the Bible into German. Scripture held ultimate authority for Luther, and he recognized that the doctrine lay in the original Hebrew text of the Old Testament and Greek of the New Testament rather than in the Latin Vulgate or existing German versions. To this end, he wanted a clear and accurate translation of the Bible available in the popular tongue, so that it could be easily understood by the common man.

Luther thought that the printing press was God’s greatest gift for the spreading of the Gospel, and he employed the relatively new technology to print and disseminate his Bible in German.

V. Art of the Reformation

Contrary to popular opinion, Luther was not against art. He thought that religious imagery was of the utmost importance when it supported Scripture. Fortunately for Luther, he lived down the street from Lucas Cranach the Elder, the court painter of the electors of Saxony. The two men developed a very close personal relationship, and Cranach was instrumental in crafting Luther’s public image. Due to his rapid and prolific production, Cranach was known as pictor celerrimus, the fastest painter. In addition to creating the famous images of Luther, the artist also produced portraits of his Reformation colleagues as well as Protestant and Catholic dignitaries, works on  religious and secular-themed subjects, and designs for hundreds of woodcuts for book illustration. Art in Northern Europe in the early 1500s st ood at the bridge between medieval and modern conceptions of the individual and religion, and this imagery conveyed Protestant ideas to a wide public in tandem with Luther’s own words.

VI. Spreading the Word

The printing press revolutionized mass communication, and Luther’s message likely would have fallen flat had it not been for the new technology. From the dissemination of his Ninety-Five Theses to the intended promotion of specif ic sermons and theological arguments, the Reformation was as much a product of the printing press as it was Luther himself. Every aspect of the Reformation came out in print. The two sides unleashed scathing polemical texts on each other, both in short pamphlet format and single-leaf broadsides with eye-grabbing illustrations that clearly conveyed their message.

Luther had to put the Reformation into words, from his composition of key theological points, such as the Augsburg Confession, to guides on how to perform a church service and appropriate church music. The Reformation is not only a reflection of Luther’s message, but also the medi um that communicated that message.

VII. Luther Archeology

A series of archeological digs in 2003–2008 at locations connected with Martin Luther uncovered a treasure trove of material related to the reformer and his family. Never before had Luther’s material culture been so well documented, and the finds radically altered some perceptions about his life. Coins, jewelry, tablewares, and toys reco vered from his parents’ house prove that—unlike Luther’s claimed later in life—his family was actually rather affluent.

Digs at the Luther House, Cranach’s workshop, and other sites around Wittenberg uncovered early sixteenth-century home décor that reveal how Luther and his colleagues liv ed. The finds from the Luther House include a vast array of decorative tiles, common local as well as imported housewares and glasses, and, not surprisingly, a large amount of writing and book paraphernalia, all of which help us to understand the home life of Martin Luther.


Medieval Music of Belarus

Stary Olsa is a medieval Belarusian music band that is currently touring the United States. Belarus, is a country that sits between Poland and Russia…

The band was founded in 1999 by Zmicier Sasnouski and includes six musicians. The name of the band comes from a brook in the western part of the Mahiliou region of Belarus.

The repertoire includes Belarusian folk ballads and martial songs, national dances, works of Renaissance composers, canticles of the 16th and early 17th centuries, and other music from the medieval to early baroque periods…

The band uses many forgotten instruments including the Belarusian bagpipe, lyre, gusli (a Baltic psaltery or harp), svirel (reed pipe), birch bark trumpet and other instruments.

The purpose of the band is to reconstruct musical traditions of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, of which Belarus was the main cultural and geopolitical part in the 13th through 18th centuries. Band members mix early Belarusian instrument sounds with all-European medieval instruments such as lute, rebec, cister, flute and Arabic drum.

Music, art mark the 800th anniversary of King John's visit

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A royal visit is being celebrated in Scotter (England) next month. King John visited Scotter in 1216 and 800 years later, to mark the occasion, the art and textile groups in Scotter Village have combined forces to create an embroidered, wall panel. The panel will be unveiled at a special medieval musical evening to be held at the Sun & Anchor in Scotter, being led by a costumed medieval band - de Mowbray’s Musicke. They play medieval music on a wide range of period instruments and will keep to King John’s era for this special event…

Music honoring a medieval local hero

…The missionary and bishop Liudger is a much-admired figure in western German Catholicism. Born in the year 742 in Utrecht, in the present-day Netherlands, Liudger was educated as a theologian in England and sent by King Charlemagne to Germany. In 799, at age 60, he founded a Benedictine monastery in Werden, near the city of Essen.

Although St. Liudger died in 809, songs in tribute to him turned up only three to four centuries later, pointing to a long tradition of Liudger veneration in this part of Germany.

Our concert features songs written for the holy mass in the 12th und 13th centuries, the era of late Gregorian chant. In a highly virtuosic style, they stand out for their unique melodies and wide tonal range.

Specializing in Gregorian chant and medieval music, the ensemble Vox Werdensis is led by its founder Stefan Klöckner, who recently discovered the music for this program…

The Maranella Medieval Minstrels

The Minstrels gave a talk about music from the 12th to the 15th Centuries and played some tunes for the guests to enjoy.

Marilyn Farrington, one of the members of the group, said: “We thought it would a nice idea if we tried to recreate the atmosphere of medieval Baron’s Hall…

 “We dress in authentic medieval costumes and play reproduction medieval instruments.

“We’ve got loads of weird and wonderful instruments and we also sing medieval songs.

Most of the music played by the group is from the 15th century, from the Crusades and the War of the Roses.

Marilyn said: “Medieval music appears much simpler on the surface. It doesn’t have the luscious harmonies of modern music…

Medieval & Renaissance – The Dawn Of Music

…Ranging from Anonymous 13th century hymns to Dowland’s Lachrimae, the works explored in this 50CD collection effectively represent the dawn of Western Music Tradition…

CD1: Music For Holy Week

Schola Antiqua, Barbara Katherine Jones, John Blackley

CD2: Ce Diabolic Chant – Ballades, Rondeaus & Virelais of the Late Fourteenth Century

The Medieval Ensemble Of London

CD3: Carmina Burana 1

New London Consort

CD4: Llibre Vermell – Pilgrim Songs & Dances

New London Consort

CD5: The Feast Of Fools

New London Consort

CD6-7: Pilgrimage To Santiago

New London Consort

CD8: Machaut: 2 Polyphonic Lais

The Medieval Ensemble Of London

CD9: Wolkenstein: Knightly Passions

New London Consort

CD10-11: Ockeghem: Secular Music

The Medieval Ensemble Of London

CD12: Perugia: Secular Works [ON CD FOR THE FIRST TIME]

The Medieval Ensemble Of London

CD13: Sweet Is The Song

CD14: Dufay: Secular Music

The Medieval Ensemble Of London…

CD42: Monteverdi: Quarto Libro di Madrigali

The Consort of Musicke

CD43: Amorous Dialogues


The Consort of Musicke

CD45: Maynard: XII Wonders of the World

The Consort of Musicke

CD46: Dowland: First Booke of Songes

The Consort of Musicke

CD47: Dowland: Lachrimae

The Consort of Musicke

CD48: Praetorius: Dances from Terpsichore

New London Consort

CD49: Sylvan & Oceanic Delights of Posilipo

CD50: Jenkins: Consort Music

The Consort of Musicke

October Faires


Alabama Renaissance Faire

October 24 - 25, 2015, Sat. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Admission: FREE / Contact: Bill Warren, PO Box 431, Florence, AL 35631, (256) 768-3031, email:, web: / Site: Wilson Park, downtown Florence, AL / Booths: 100 / Attendance: 38,000 / Weapons: must be peace-tied / Full service camping w/in 5 mi., food and lodging w/in 1-2 miles. .

Renaissance Feast

October 17, 2015, 7 p.m.

Admission: $25 - limited to 200 ppl / Contact: Bill Warren, PO Box 431, Florence, AL 35631, (256) 768-3031, email:, web: / Site: Florence-Lauderdale Coliseum / Booths: N/A / Attendance: limited to 200 people / Weapons: must be peace-tied.


2nd Annual Renaissance Faire (CA)

2nd Annual Renaissance Faire in Anza Oct. 15 will include jugglers, musicians, martial art demonstrations, belly dancers, local artist exhibits, archery lessons, face painting, shaved ice, delicious bakery goods, food, beer and many vendors. For the children there will be jumpies, water slides and games.

Participants singed up so far include: music by the High Country Conservancy artists and Thompson kids; martial arts demos by Mike Patke and Mart Bergman with their trainees; belly dancers by Dallas; Thimble Clubs baked goods; Tri-tip sandwiches by Cahuilla Mountain Café; cotton candy and popcorn by Valley Gospel Church; Kona Ice with shaved ice and drinks; Faith Archery demos; Big Dev will have turkey legs, brisket sandwiches and beef ribs; Cottonwood Art Program will provide Henna tattoos and tarot card readings; Anza Christian Fellowship with face painting for children; the Jam Lady; jumpies and water slides by Darlene; and Sterling Bits and Bobs, to name a few.

Garrison said vendor booths are still available. For local Anza residents, booths are $25 and for out of towners $40.

All Hallows Fantasy Faire

October 24 - 25, 2015, 12 noon - midnight

Admission: $16 / Contact: Sonora Cultural Faires, Patric Karnahan, PO Box 4541, Sonora, CA 95370, (209) 532-8375 or (800) 446-1333, email: or, web: / Site: Mother Lode Fairgrounds, Sonora, CA / Booths: 40 / Attendance: 5,000 / Weapons: must be sheathed and peace-tied / On site camping available for participants.

California City Renaissance Festival

October 17 - 18, 2015, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sun. til 5 p.m.

Admission: $8 / Contact: California City Arts Commission, Brenda Daverin, 21000 Hacienda Blvd., California City, CA 93505, (760) 373-3530, email:, web: / Site: CA City Central Park, 10350 Heather Ave., California City, CA / Booths: 30 / Attendance: 5,000+ / Weapons: must be sheathed and secured / On-site camping for guilds and vendors; off-site nearby in Mojavc.

Folsom Renaissance Faire and Tournament

October 17 - 18, 2015, Sat. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sun til 5 p.m.

Admission: $16 / Contact: Renaissance Productions, 116 Dorado Terr, San Francisco, CA 94112, (415) 354-1773, email:, web: / Site: Folsom City Lions Park, Folsom, CA / Booths: 70 / Attendance: 7,000 / Weapons: must be peace-tied and blades covered; no firearms / On-site camping for participants, motels w/in 5 mi.

Great Western War XVI

October 7 - 12, 2015, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sun. til 5 p.m.

Admission: $25 / Contact: Madelena Hidalgo and William MacFyr, Kingdom of Caid, SCA, 7575 West Washington Ave., Suite 127 #113, Las Vegas, NV, 89128, email:, web: / Site: Buena Vista Aquatic Recreational Area, 13601 Ironbark Rd., Taft CA / Booths: 50 / Attendance: 7,000 / Weapons: no functional firearms / limited on-site camping, hotels nearby.

Northern California Renaissance Faire

TBA September - October, 2016, (WO) 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Admission: $25 / Contact: Play Faire Productions, 201-A McCray, PMB247, Hollister, CA 95023, (408) 847-FAIR, email:, web: / Site: Casa de Fruta, 10031 Pacheco Pass Hwy (Hwy 152), Hollister, CA / Booths: 145 / Attendance: 50,000 / Weapons: must be sheathed and peace-tied / See web site for camping & hotels.

Seaside Highland Games

October 7 - 9, 2016, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Admission: $16 / Contact: 9654 Kessler Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311 (818) 886-4968, email:, web: / Site: Ventura County Fairgrounds, 10 W. Harbor Blvd., Ventura, CA / Booths: N/A / Attendance: N/A / Weapons: call for policy / Hotels nearby.


Connecticut Renaissance Faire 'King Arthur's Fall Harvest Fair'

October 1 - 30, 2016, (WO & Colmb. Day) 10:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Admission: $17 / Contact: PO Box 433, Danielson, CT 06239, (860) 478-5954, email:, web: / Site: North Haven Fairgrounds, 300 Washington Avenue, North Haven, CT / Booths: 100 / Attendance: 24,000 / Weapons: must be sheathed and peace-tied / see web site for lodging info.


11th Annual Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival

Dates: October 7-9, 2016

*October 7th 6pm-12am

*October 8th and 9th 10am-5pm

Location: Street festival along Old San Carlos Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

Vendors: 50

Attendance: 10,000

Hotels and camping nearby

Weapons must be sheathed and peace tied

Contact: Belinda Hadcock  239.777.1727


Stone Mountain Highland Games NEW LISTING!

October 14 - 16, 2016, Fri. 7 p.m. Historic Pub Crawl, Sat. & Sun. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Admission: $19 / Contact: PO Box 14023, Atlanta, GA 30324, (707) 521-0228, email:, web: / Site: Stone Mountain Park, GA / Booths: 20 / Attendance: N/A / Weapons: policy not stated / see website for info.

Tybee Island Pirate Fest

October 6 - 9, 2016, Fri. 5 p.m. - 11 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m. - 11 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m; Buccaneer Ball Thurs. Oct. 7, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Admission: $15; $25 for ball / Contact: PO Box 1326, Tybee Island, GA 31328, web: / Site: South Beach Parking Lot, Tybrisa St. to Strand Ave., Oceanfront, GA / Booths: 20 / Attendance: N/A / Weapons: policy not stated / see website for info.


Idaho Renaissance Faire

October 8 - 9, 2016, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Admission: FREE / Contact: Idaho Renaissance Faire, Nikky Scofield, 944 Lower Bluff Rd, Emmett, ID 83617, email:, web: / Site: Gem Island Sports Complex, Emmett, ID / Booths: 20 / Attendance:2,000 / Weapons: must be sheathed; no firearms / See web site for info.


Fishers Renaissance Faire

October 1 - 2, 2016, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Admission: $12, $10 in advance; family packs available; special pricing for active and retired military / Contact: Adam Fivush, Fishers Renaissance Faire, 1 Municipal Dr., Fishers, IN 46038, email:, web: / Site: Klipsch Music Center, 146th and Olio Rd, Noblesville, IN / Booths: 80 / Attendance: 12,000 / Weapons: must be sheathed and peace-tied / Camping available on-site for artisans and entertainers; hotels nearby.

Rosenvolk German Medieval Festival

October 14 - 16, 2016, Fri. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. - 10 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. 6 p.m.

Admission: $12.50, children 6 - 18 $10, 5 & under FREE / Contact: Catherine Le Blanc, (812) 309-3479, email:, web: / Site: 18th Street Park, 422 E 18th Street, Ferdinand IN 47532 / Booths: 40 / Attendance: 7,000 / Weapons: must be peace-tied / Camping and hotels nearby.


Kansas City Renaissance Festival

Through October 16th, 2016
Open Weekends and Columbus Day

10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Admission: $20.95 / Contact: Carrie Shoptaw, 628 N. 126th St., Bonner Springs, KS 66012, (800) 373-0357, email:, web: / Site: 633 N. 130th St., Bonner Springs, KS, 15 min. west of downtown Kansas City, off I-70 / Booths: 165 / Attendance: 200,000 / Weapons: not allowed / see web site for info


The Maryland Renaissance Festival

…At the Black Sword Armory, Vicki Cline helps customer peruse blades that range from standard daggers to the sword and shield of Link, the protagonist of the video game "The Legend of Zelda."

I ask Cline what she would suggest for someone like myself, foreign to this land and time period. She has a suggestion.

"As a weapon to successfully defend yourself, my lord might want to look at a cutlass," she said.

That might make me fit right in. Weapons and armor shops both large and small populate the grounds. Not 100 feet away, a round of jousting had just ended.

Cline has worked as a merchant for 15 years and she's sold her fair share of blades to collectors and the like.

"I had a customer who spent $2,000 one night at 7 p.m. after the (end of the event) cannon went off," Cline said…

Through October 23, 2016, (WO + Labor Day) 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Admission: $24 / Contact: Intl. Renaissance Festivals Ltd., PO Box 315, Crownsville, MD 21032, (800) 296-7304, email:, web: / Site: 1821 Crownsville Rd., Crownsville, MD / Booths: 187 / Attendance: 290,000 / Weapons: not allowed / BR avail., Campground w/ toilets, showers, electric & water avail. w/ $75 leaning deposit & $10 surcharge per person; hotels nearby.


King Richard’s Faire

Faire hours are 10:30am-6pm every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday holidays. Tickets are $31 for adults (12+) and $16 for children ages 4-11. Children under 4 are free, and parking is free.  For special celebrations or group discounts, email The Faire is located at 235 Main Street (Rt. 58) in Carver, Mass. 02330, 508-866-5391


Through Oct 2

The Michigan Renaissance Festival is open weekends (Sat. & Sun) August 20- October 2. The Festival is open Labor Day and Friday, September 30. Open 10am-7pm, Admission: $21.95 / Contact: Michigan Renaissance Festival, Tim Liss, 12600 Dixie Hwy., Holly, MI 48442, (800) 601-4848, email:, web: / Site: 12500 Dixie Hwy., Holly, MI / Booths: 200 / Attendance: 250,000 / Weapons: must be peace-tied / See web site for lodging.


Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Through October 2, 2016, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Admission: $22.95 / Contact: Erica Christo, Mid-America Festivals, 1244 S. Canterbury Rd. Suite 306, Shakopee, MN 55379, (952) 445-7361 or (800) 966-8215, email:, web: / Site: 5.5 mi on Hwy 169, Shakopee, MN / Booths: 325 / Attendance: 280,000 / Weapons: must be peace-tied / On-site camping and showers for participants; camping and motels nearby.


Central Missouri Renaissance Festival

Oct. 22 - 23, 2016, Sun. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Admission: $12 / Contact: Renee Scheidt, 4274 Co Rd 220, Kingdom City, MO, 65262, (573) 449-8637 , web: / Site: Boster Castle, 4274 County Rd 220, Kingdom City, MO / Booths: 45 / Attendance:


23rd Annual Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival (NV)

…Traveling back through centuries when knights and kings, maidens and wenches, minstrels and jesters ruled the world, the festivities run from Friday, Oct. 7 to Sunday Oct. 9, and feature various shows per day, more than 100 artisans, historical reenactments and plenty of food and drink to satisfy the masses….

The fair will boast a royal parade, ending with a public stoning, featuring kings, queens, warriors and peasants on Saturday and Sunday. Experience full-contact jousting tournaments, live combat battles, no-holds-barred gladiator battles, black powder demonstrations, strolling minstrels, contortionists, magicians, storytellers, jokers, jugglers, flame eaters, belly dancers, trained parrots and pirates. Additional attractions include bow and arrow and axe target games, medieval barber and surgeon demonstrations, Princess Tea Party and storytelling, Scavenger Hunt, and Renaissance guilds…

Admission: $13 / Contact: Clark County Park & Rec, 2901 E. Sunset Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89120, (702) 455-8200, email:, or salibab@co.clark.NV.US, web: / Site: Sunset Regional Park, 2601 E. Sunset Rd., Las Vegas, NV / Booths: 200+ / Attendance: 40,000 / Weapons: must be peace-tied / Free on-site camping for participants (space limited); park w/in 1 mi. of the Las Vegas strip.

Road to Reno Celtic Celebration

October 1 - 2, 2016, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m

Admission: $5 - $10 / Contact: Celtic Celebration Inc, P.O. Box 3881, Reno, NV 89505, (661) 615-0410, email:, web: www. / Site: Bartley Ranch Regional Park, Reno, NV / Booths: 50 / Attendance : 2,500 / Weapons: must be peace-tied / Hotels nearby.


New York Renaissance Faire

Through October 2, 2016, (WO & Labor Day) 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Admission: $24 / Contact: REP, 600 Route 17A, Tuxedo, NY 10987, (845) 351-5174, email:, web: / Site: Sterling Forest, 45 minutes from NYC, 600 Rt 17A, Tuxedo Park, NY / Booths: 150 / Attendance: 150,000 / Weapons: must be sheathed and peace-tied / Hotels & B&B within 15 min.

Sterling Renaissance Festival

July 1 - August 28, 2016, (WO) 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Admission: $25.95 / Contact: Lisa Interlichia, Sterling Renaissance Festival, Inc., 15385 Farden Rd., Sterling, NY 13156, (800) 879-4446, email:, web: / Site: 15385 Farden Rd., Sterling, NY / Booths: 100 / Attendance: 100,000 / Weapons: must be peace-tied / See web site for lodging info.

Niagara Celtic Heritage Festival & Highland Games

September 17 - 18, 2016, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m., Sunday until 6 p.m.

Admission: $25 weekend, $20 Saturday, $12 Sunday / Contact: Vicki Banks, (716) 778-5730, email:, web: / Site: Krull Park, 6108 Lake Rd., Olcott, NY / Booths: 75 / Attendance: 12,000 / Weapons: must be sheathed and peace-tied, no functional firearms / Hotels, camping, other lodging nearby. See website.


Carolina Caledonian Fest

October 28 - 30, 2016, (WO) 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Admission: $12 / Contact: Allen McDavid, AKA Entertainment & Media, 518 S. Elm Street, Greensboro, NC 27406, (336) 707-9188, email:, web: / Site: Lu Mil Vineyard / Booths: 35 / Attendance: 12,000 / Weapons: allowed / Participant camping on-site.

Carolina Renaissance Festival

October 3 - November 22, 2015, (WO) 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Admission: $24; $23 adv / Contact: Matt Siegel, 11056 Renaissance Dr. #130, Davidson, NC 28036, (704) 896-5544, email:, or, web: / Site: 16445 Poplar Tent Rd., Huntersville, NC / Booths: 110 / Attendance: 170,000 / Weapons: must be peace-tied / Participant camping on-site; motels and campgrounds nearby.


Ohio Renaissance Festival

SEPTEMBER 3 — OCTOBER 23, 2015, (WO + Labor Day) 10:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Admission: $20, $18.95 adv online / Contact: Ohio Renaissance Festival, Cheryl Bucholtz, PO Box 68, Harveysburg, OH 45032, (513) 897-7000, email:, web: / Site: SR. 73 between I-71 & I-75, Harveysburg, OH (gps: 10542 E SR 73, Waynesville, OH) / Booths: 140 / Attendance: 175,000 / Weapons: must be sheathed and peace-tied / Check website for lodging info.


Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire

August 6 - October 30, 2016, (WO & Labor Day) 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Admission: $30.95 / Contact: Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, 2775 Lebanon Road, Manheim, PA 17545, (717) 665-7021, web: / Site: Mt. Hope Estate and Winery, Lancaster, PA / Booths:100 / Attendance: 200,000 / Weapons: must be peace-tied / No on-site camping; hotels and campgrounds nearby.


1st Annual Tennessee Pirate Fest

Seeking Vendors, Applications due 9/1

Darkhorse Entertainment, LLC, is announcing the first annual Tennessee Pirate Fest to be held on Columbus Day weekend in October.  This family-friendly event will be in Harriman at the Tennessee Medieval Faire site--just 30 miles west of Turkey Creek.  All are invited to the fictional pirate haven of Port Royale in the Tortugas, circa 1700-1800’s.  “The Pirates of the Caribbean movies are popular, and acting like a pirate is fun for all ages.  ARRR!” said Barrie Paulson, VP-Manager & Entertainment Director.

Pirate entertainment will include live music, comedy stage shows, interactive street characters, costume contests, beach games, original crafts, delicious food, and refreshing beverages--including beer.

Festival organizers are seeking quality craft and food vendors to fill the village.  Vendor applications and guidelines can be downloaded from the website under the vendor tab.  The application deadline is September 1st.  

The Tennessee Pirate Fest will take place October 8-9-10 from 11a-6p ET--rain or shine.  Ticket prices will be $13.00 for ages 13 and up, $8.00 for ages 5 to 12, and free for ages 4 and under.  Parking will be free, and tickets will be available for purchase at the gate with cash or credit.  Onsite camping for patrons is not included, but public campgrounds and hotels are nearby.  The festival is located at 550 Fiske Road, Harriman, TN.  For Faire rules, guidelines, and more information, please visit and “like” them on Facebook. 


Texas Renaissance Festival gears up for 42nd season of magical weekends

The Fall is near and with it comes the enchantment of  the Texas Renaissance Festival,  the nation’s largest Renaissance theme park, bringing eight themed weekends of food, fun and 16th  century magic, from October 8 through November 27, 2016. This season’s themed weekends include Oktoberfest, 1001 Dreams, All Hallows’ Eve, Pirate Adventure, Roman Bacchanal, Barbarian Invasion, Highland Fling, and Celtic Christmas. Kids ages 12 and under get in free every Sunday.

Established in 1974, the Texas Renaissance Festival attracts over half a million visitors each year to its nearly 60-acre New Market Village and 200-acre Fields of New Market Campground in Todd Mission, Texas, just one hour north of Houston. The Festival’s immersive experience features world-renowned live entertainment, works by master artisans and craftspeople, award-winning food and drink, hand-powered rides and games, and over 100 interactive characters throughout the season.

 “People come from all around the world for this experience.  Our loyal patrons, actors and merchants who have been here from the beginning will tell you it is a magical, inviting experience for people of all ages,” says Terre Albert, general manager of the Festival, says.

There are over 400 shoppes offering handmade items such as beeswax candles and soap, armory, clothing, art, jewelry and more can be found nestled between areas that bustle with the energy of an Italian Village, a German Beer Garden or a Florence market. Blacksmiths, glassblowers, hawkers, fairies, pirate kings and beer maidens stay true to character, bringing to life the spirit of the Texas Renaissance Festival. A new addition to the festival grounds is Titania’s Bower Stage which will host a new act called “The Living Foundation”, a tale of a magical water statue brought to life.  In addition, the new stage will host the School of Dance.

Couples looking to wed need look no further. The Texas Renaissance Festival has become a major wedding destination and Festival organizers expect another record number of wedding ceremonies to take place on festival grounds this season, with a Mass Vow Renewal slated for Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 2:30 p.m. interested couples can get more information by calling 1-800-458-3435.

After an exciting day feasting on the finest foods fit for a king, interacting with the festival’s entertaining and noble characters and wandering through hundreds of shops selling unique crafts and treasures, guests can continue their festival experience at the Fields of New Market Campgrounds, 200 acres of sprawling camping space for RVs, trailers and traditional tent campers, conveniently located next to the Festival grounds. 

“Since last year’s record-breaking season, we have been busy planning new ways to attract more patrons and their families to our campgrounds,” says Albert. “Camping is a big experience out here and we have made sure there is something for everyone.”

Festival organizers have brought in new on-site food vendors, including Texas Fat Boyz, to offer hot, delicious menu items like Turkey legs, hamburgers and chili dogs from Festival close into the wee hours. A margarita truck will offer frozen margaritas to campers 21 years of age and older, and the Festival’s newly-renovated on-site convenience stores, Drag-on Inn and Drag-on Buy, will offer an array of camping products, snacks and beverages, including beer, wine and mead.

The campgrounds have around-the-clock security and offer two professionally-managed bonfires on Saturday nights – one in the early evening for families and kids, and another later in the evening for the adult crowd. The campgrounds will also feature three ticket kiosk booths located throughout the site so that campers can avoid the ticket lines at the festivals entrance.   A Quiet Camping area is reserved for families and patrons to relax and enjoy a peaceful evening after a non-stop day of festival merriment. To purchase tickets and for more camping information, visit this link.  There is no limit to the number of tickets one can purchase.

Fan favorite TRF After Dark, a costume gala for guests 21 and older, will return to the Fields of New Market Campgrounds for its second year of fun and fantasy. Each Saturday of the Festival, TRF After Dark will offer patrons music and dancing, live entertainment, themed contests, drinks, food and more from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

October 8 - November 27, 2016, (WO & Thanksgiving Fri) 10 a.m. - dusk

Admission: $27 / Contact: Texas Renaissance Festival, 21778 FM 1774, Plantersville, TX 77363, (800) 458-3435, email:, web: / Site: 21778 FM 1774, Plantersville, TX / Booths: 400 / Attendance: 606,000 / Weapons: must be peace-tied / See web site for lodging info.


Annual Harvest Faire

October 7 - 9, 2016, Fri. 5 p.m. - 9 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. - 9 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Admission: $5-$15 / Contact: Amy Reineri, Harvest Faire, 887 Garrow Rd, Newport News, VA 23608, (757) 358-5412, email:, web: / Site: Endview Plantation, 362 Yorktown Rd, Newport News, VA / Booths: 24 / Attendance: 1000 / Weapons: must be peace-tied; no pole-arms / On-site camping available for participants.

Gloucester Renaissance Festival

October 22 - 23, 2016, Sat. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Admission: FREE / Contact: Chris and Mia Pugh, Medieval Fantasies Company, PO Box 13, Churchville, VA 24421, (540) 294-1846, email:, web: / Site: Historic District of Downtown Gloucester, VA / Booths: 20 / Attendance: 2,000 / Weapons: not allowed / on-site camping available for participants.


Spokane Renaissance Faire

October 4 - 5, 2014, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Admission: $10 / Contact: Spokane Entertainer’s Guild, Tara Mickschl, PO Box 48782, Spokane, WA 99228, (509) 998-9596, email:, web: / Site: 20424 N Dunn Rd, Spokane, WA / Booths: 20 / Attendance: 300 / Weapons: must be peace-tied / On site camping available for participants.

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