I love summer festivals, but there’s one in particular that I look forward to with a special sort of anticipation. I have been going to the Colorado Renaissance Festival since moving here in 2000. My husband, who grew up in Littleton, Colorado has been attending since childhood. It’s literally the best festival in the state and if you’ve never been, you’ve been missing out.
Running every weekend from June 12 to August 1, 2010, the festival takes place on acres upon acres of land complete with permanent festival-specific buildings in Larkspur, Colorado, just south of Castle Rock. Each weekend of the festival is themed. There’s a wine weekend, ale and arts weekend, Celtic weekend, love and romance weekend and more.
My husband and I prefer to attend the festival on opening weekend, and we have various reasons for this. First and foremost it’s not quite as hot as later in the season. Even though the festival has lots of large mature trees providing shade, during mid-summer, it can be a SPF 50 affair for those of us of Northern European decent.
Second, on opening weekend the vendors and performers are fresh and ready to go, there’s still magic and the promise of a prosperous faire for everyone. Last, but not least, Wendy’s restaurants provide two-for-one coupons for opening weekend, which saves $18.95 for an adult pass, and that savings buys quite a few ciders inside the faire. Pick up a coupon at a Wendy’s near you.
Speaking of drink and food, the festival is a cornucopia of ediable delights, including turkey legs suitable for a knight and the less than lady-like sausage on a stick. Yes, festival food is a lot of fun, but even more enjoyable with a cider. You can drink beer, wine, sarsaparilla or a boring soda, but an icy cold, hard-cider is my festival drink of choice. It’s usually only $4, and in fact, most of the festival food is well priced. Be aware tipping will get you a “huzzah“ and make you feel like a star.
If you’d like to spend a little of your gold, there is a lot to buy at the Renaissance Festival. From dresses fit for princesses to jewelry, swords, pottery, leather works, art and even shoulder monkeys and dragon’s teeth, you’ll find a little of everything available for purchase in the realm.
The festival entertainment is endless, and I don’t just mean the professional performers. With their butchered English accents and bawdy humor, many of the vendors provide patrons lots of laughs. However, with stages situated throughout the festival grounds, you also have a front row seat to quite a few outstanding performances throughout the day.
A few of my favorites returning this year are Arsene of Paris (don’t give him your shoe, you have been warned), The Washing Wenches (watch out if you’re a bald man) and Hey Nunnie Nunnie (if you know your Bible stories, these gals will have you rolling in the aisles).
Festival favorites will also be performing, including Ded Bob, the irreverent Puke and Snot, as well as the ever-popular Knights of Noble Causes Production that includes real knights performing dangerous feats on real horses. Okay, the knights aren’t really knights, but the horses are real. There are always plenty of new acts at the festival too.
Whether you love to shop, eat, drink, laugh or just sit back and people watch, the Colorado Renaissance Festival is like no other festival you’ve been to – I promise. From the young to the old, this festival is one of those events rendering its patrons ageless.
For more information visit www.coloradorenaissance.com.
HeidiTown Tips for visiting the realm”¦
Don’t forget the sunscreen.
Do visit the petting zoo regardless of your age.
Do drink the cider.
Don’t be a prude.
Do you have a favorite performer or memory from the Colorado Renaissance Festival? Share it here and you could win a prize.