To visit the Bristol Renaissance Faire is to transcend the present and enter a realm of long-forgotten fun, fare and fancy.
Nestled in a 30-acre wood in Kenosha, Wisconsin, just an hour north of Chicago, the Renaissance village has welcomed literally millions of visitors in its 41-year history.
Cheer as knights joust on horseback, feast on a turkey leg and watch artisans create everything from blown glass to leather goods and jewelry. With more than 200 merchants, including 15 new ones for 2013, visitors are sure to find a treasure to take home.
You won’t find county fair food here. Period shepherd’s pie, ale, and all manner of good things to eat are available, including vegetarian and vegan dishes.
New in the village this year are a hookah smoking lounge, the Green Angel Kaffeehaus, and maybe-not-exciting-but-convenient flushing toilets.
It’s an interactive faire, so try your hand at archery and challenge your own abilities in tests of balance and strength, and to get in the mood, come dressed in your own Renaissance garb.
“We encourage costumes, whether fantasy or historically based,” says entertainment director Kristen Mansour.
Hundreds of cast members, bawdy and tame, entertain onstage and strolling the grounds.A Guinness record holder fire whip expert, music of all manner, acrobats, falconry, dancers and more.