Longing for childhood days of make believe? Mythic heroes slaying dragons, steel clad warriors jousting atop mighty steeds and knights in shining armor saving damsels in distress…this can all be found at the Arizona Renaissance Festival.
There is definitely something for the children and the kid in all of us to be found at the faire; experience your best day out in history!
Arizona's annual festival is one of the largest in the nation, held on weekends in February and March in its fanciful European style village constructed on a 30-acre site just below the foothills of the Superstition Mountains, east of Phoenix. This is where you’ll find theater, circus, an arts and crafts fair, a jousting tournament, people-powered rides, and a feast – all rolled into a non-stop, day long family adventure!
Merchants hawk their wares, selling everything from clothing to custom ceramics. Several offer interesting demonstrations displaying skills of blacksmithing, glassblowing and pottery throwing. Artisans are housed in the market lanes filled with storybook shops and medieval tents.
A variety of food and drynk is available to satisfy your appetite; bread bowls, stews, steak-on-a-stake, and so much more. In the midst of this enormous feast you'll find the king of festival foods - the huge roasted turkey leg. Tempt your diet plan with desserts from the Monk’s Bakery, the Cappuccino Inn, or the Chocolate Shoppe. Pubs serve beers, wine and soft drynks to quench your thirst.
There are a dozen open-air stages where you can listen to raucous music and roaring comedy. Catch the foul puns, swordplay and wordplay of festival favorites Don Juan and Miguel. It’s hard to miss the wild antics of The Tortuga Twins (three unrelated men in tights), and more then amusing to decipher Zilch the Tory Steller (the misspelling, like his miss-speaking, intentional).
The birds of prey flights provided by the royal falconer and the spectacle of knights in heavy armor charging through their tournament jousts, each performed three times daily in the arena, often attracting the largest crowds, and deservedly so.
And kids love this place! Dozens of activities bring out their smiles. A Festival favorite with children is Mother (and Father) Goose brought to life, with their costumed ducks and geese, Maggie, Mimi and Matilda. Kids will cheer for their favorite knight or try their hand at archery. Children delight in the return of a falcon, the king of sports, at the Falconer’s Heath. Kids also, love riding the peoplepowered Da Vinci’s Flying Machine, the Swan Swing, Christopher Columbus’ “Voyage to the New World”, the Slider Joust, as well as, the Piccolo Pony, a rocking horse bigger than an elephant. In addition to the people-powered rides, the Festival offers interactive games like the dragon climbing tower, the castle siege, Jacob’s Ladder, a maze and an archery range. Kids will surely be asking for a hat, wand, wooden sword, shield, or to have their face painted, or to make a sand dragon, along with other items available for purchase at the Festival. What’s more, kids will marvel at the tightrope antics of Dexter Tripp. Those bolder of heart may feed the dragon or play king of the log.
We deal with the 21st century every day. Now the Renaissance is back, offering an opportunity to relax and escape to the amusements of a much simpler time. You can meet all these colorful characters on weekends, Saturdays, Sundays, and Presidents’ Day Monday, February 6 through March 28.
For more information contact the Festival at 520-463-2700 or on the web at www.renfestinfo.com.
WHEN YOU GO:
What: The 22nd Annual Arizona Renaissance Festival
Where: East of Apache Junction on US Highway 60, near the Superstition Mountains.
When: Eight consecutive weekends (Saturdays, Sundays, and Presidents’ Day Monday) from
February 6th through March 28th. The Festival runs from 10AM until 6:00PM, rain or shine.
Advance Tickets: $18 for adults & $8 for kids ages 5-12 at Fry’s Food Stores region wide. Children
under 5 are always free. Tickets purchased at the gate are $2 more and tickets available on line at
www.RenFestInfo.com . Senior discount tickets (60 and over) are $17 only available at the box office.
Parking: FREE courtesy of Fry’s Food Stores
Information: Call 520-463-2700