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Join 16th Century Court Dancers, Knighting Ceremonies, And More At The Bristol Renaissance Faire

The summer festivities kicked into high gear with the start of the Bristol Renaissance Faire in July, which runs for nine weekends through Labor Day. The Feast of Fooles festival features exciting events for all to enjoy, including the Queen Elizabeth's midday parade. Scores of masked Renaissance characters will mingle with faire-goers for a rousing romp of revelry and song, befitting Her Majesty herself! 

Big, bold and brazenly boisterous, guest visiting this summer's celebration will encounter strolling jesters, jugglers, stilt-walkers and masquerading merrymakers. “We’re going to party like it is 1599,” said Linda McFeters, general manager of the Bristol Renaissance Faire.

For 20 years, the Bristol Renaissance Faire has captivated guests with an amazing spectrum of experiences, from unabashed revelry to first rate people-watching. For those who want to check their inhibitions at the gate, there’s ample opportunity to whoop and holler at jousting knights, get down and dirty with raucous, earth-clad mud beggars, or hurl a ripe tomato at a blustering braggart. Those inclined toward more serene pursuits will find a comparable bounty of enjoyments, from watching glass-blowers create one-of-a-kind works of art, to joining in a round of 16th Century court dancing, or listening to the dulcet tones of world-class musicians.

Least we not forget the we ones at the Bristol Renaissance Faire, which has a special enclosed play area called Kids Kingdom. This delightful playground is filled with oversized sand boxes, a huge climb-aboard pirate ship, and a cast of fable-favorite characters presiding over a full day of interactive games, crafts and other child-friendly diversions. The children receive a special guest each afternoon during the daily Knighting Ceremony, when her Majesty Queen Elizabeth herself visits the Kingdom to make knights and ladies of all waiting children. The Queen knights somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,280 children every season.

The Bristol Renaissance Faire has also featured performances by Lipizzans, which were sought after by royalty and have been around for 400 years and are Europe's oldest domesticated breed of horse. These amazing performers and their horses parade animatedly on straight lines, change direction, and tempo in the three natural gaits: walk, trot, and canter. In their performance called the Pas De Deux, two horses and their riders perform the movements of the classical school either side by side or as mirror image partners. These beautiful horses are certainly be a sight to see.

Whether you sip ale or something a bit more mild, the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Kenosha, Wisconsin has plenty of food, drink, and entertainment to enjoy. Queen Elizabeth and other historically based characters are juxtaposed with fictional scenarios, such as the popular street-fighting escapades of Robin Hood and his Merry Men.

The Bristol Renaissance Faire features sixteen entertainment stages with nonstop music and merriment. Faire favorites Dirk and Guido, “The Swordsmen,” perform daring sword fights and compete to win the affections of unsuspecting ladies in the audience. MooNiE the Magnif’Cent masters mind over matter in hilarious displays of ropewalking and fire juggling, and the Barely Balanced acrobatic comedy troupe dives through fire, hurls razor sharp knives and balances each other in mind-boggling formations (five weekends only).

Among the summer’s special musical guests are Celtic groups, as well as other bands who will come “dressed to kilt.” Then there’s the food!  Fresh roasted turkey legs, fish and chips, garlic sautéed mushrooms, corn on the cob, steak sandwiches, savory grilled chicken, ice cream, fruit crepes and other delicacies tempt faire-goers to bring their royal appetites and leave their willpower at home.

Close to 200 artisans display their wares in the Faire Marketplace.  Discover rare finds around every corner as potters, glass blowers, broom caners, and forgers busily go about their work.  Offerings range from sterling silver jewelry and hand-crafted leather works to hickory sparring weapons, tapestries, bent willow furniture and wooden marionettes. Bristol is one of the most highly regarded among dozens of high-profile Renaissance festivals across the country.

By Melody Schubert

Getting There:

Find out more about upcoming dates of the Bristol Renaissance Faire and purchase advance tickets, check for discounts, and more details by visiting or by calling, (847) 395-7773.

Use this link to go to the Wisconsin Travel Guide

About The Author

Use this link to learn more about Melody Schubert.