Huzzah! My First Renaissance Festival

By Linsey Thut | November 14, 2017

Once upon a time, this Georgetown girl left behind the bustling city and traveled to a far off, wondrous place where magic abounds, the mead is overflowing and it’s just as common to see a fire-breathing dragon as it is to see swashbuckling pirates.

This weekend was my first time at the Texas Renaissance Festival in Todd Mission, TX. It’s the largest one in Texas and it was truly magical.

While it would typically be odd for a grown man to walk around in tights or a woman to don elf ears and a mermaid tail, at “Ren Fest” — as it’s affectionately known to the fest folks — it’s actually encouraged. In fact, those who don’t dress up are usually the ones feeling left out.

I spotted a “Houston Astros” Wizard!

Folks in elaborate costumes paraded around the jousting arena before the costume contest.

The gathering of the “Batmans.”

So like any good fest-goer, I transformed into a fair maiden and fit right in among the wizards, knights and creatures.

The Renaissance Festival was more enchanting than my wildest dreams. This 60-acre field was transformed into an entire town of merchants selling handmade goods like stained glass and artworks, kilts galore and even an entire shop specializing in elf ears! All evidence of the 21st Century faded away, except the occasional sight of a mermaid taking a selfie or an ogre wearing headphones.

Around each corner, mystical fairies fluttered by and witches cast spells on unsuspecting onlookers.

This fairy ballerina came to life as we passed by.

I think this witch cast a magic spell on me!

Upon first arriving, we watched as the festival crowd was suddenly parted by a royal parade of knights escorting a bride to her medieval wedding ceremony at the English Gardens.

Our day was spent exploring the medieval village, perusing incredible crafts and costumes, and (of course!) eating like a king. The cuisine ranged from Greek gyros to sugary funnel cakes, but wanting to feel like a true barbarian, I opted for the massive turkey leg that was probably big enough to feed an entire village of giants.

This is not an illusion. That turkey leg was actually the size of that tower…

Bet you didn’t know the Parthenon was also a delicious restaurant…

As the day came to a close, we were all invited to The King’s Joust in the arena, and as is custom when “His Highness” walks in, everyone stood and some even toasted a glass in his honor.

Since this was the first ever “Heroes and Villains” theme weekend, we were in for a treat. Instead of the usual jousting knights, the entire tournament was superhero-themed.┬áMy superhero-loving heart pounded as we cheered on Wonder Woman, Thor and The Man of Steel in their duel against the devilish villains.

And as is always true, good triumphed over evil and the villains were defeated by the Justice League as the crowd went wild!

Soon enough, the sun set, the festival ended with flashing fireworks and it was time to bid adieu to the land of dragons, princesses and mystical creatures. It was truly magical experience and one I plan on making a tradition!

Texas Renaissance Festival ends on November 26 with the Celtic Christmas Celebration, so check it out here before the magic ends!

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