Be transported to medieval times at the 30th Annual Arizona Renaissance Festival

Food offerings at the Arizona Renaissance Festival range from sweet treats, turkey legs and bangers and mash to the Pleasure Feast, a five-course medieval meal that includes live entertainment. (Courtesy of Arizona Renaissance Festival)

Opening weekend is Feb. 10-11

 

For eight weekends plus Presidents’ Day, get transported in time as soon as you walk through the gates of the 30th Annual Arizona Renaissance Festival.

The medieval theme park, which is a replica of 16th Century Europe, will joust through town to entertain the masses from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Presidents’ Day from Feb. 10 to April 1, at the fairgrounds, 12601 E. U.S. Highway 60 in Gold Canyon.

A centralized meeting spot where you’ll be able to mix and mingle with peasants, jesters and royals, the event is a place to wear your best Renaissance garb or suit up in armor while perusing the transformed 30-acre grounds near the foothills of the Superstition Mountains.

Attractions include more than 200 artisan marketplace shops of handmade items; blown glass, leather goods and jewelry, 13 stages of nonstop entertainment with performances of music, dance, comedy, falconry, acrobatics and three jousting tournaments daily, according to a press release.

Not only can you watch artisans at work, but you can also experience the Old World revelry surrounding the “eat, drink and be merry” time period while navigating around and meeting more than 2,000 colorfully costumed characters.
Mixing “foolish pleasures with artisan treasures,” you can watch artisans create works of art in front of you.

Twig the Fairy flits throughout the Arizona Renaissance Festival greeting guests. (Courtesy of Arizona Renaissance Festival)

And, you can be part of the masterpiece as people can braid and bedazzle your hair on the spot or you can get your caricature done. Many attendees look forward to eating a giant, roasted turkey leg; participating in games of chance and skill; cheering on their favorite knights, even meeting mermaids and maidens while visiting, according to the release.

In addition to experiencing on-site merriment and seeing magic acts, you can meet with the king and his court; see castles, cottages, swordplay; listen to music and hijinks as there’s so much to see and do for adults and kids.

Children can delight in the interactive games and people-powered rides: Da Vinci’s Flying Machine, The Slider Joust, Piccolo Pony — a rocking horse bigger than an elephant; plus the Dragon Climbing Tower, Castle Siege, the Maze, Archery Range and more.

The Pleasure Feast, held noon and 2:30 p.m. at the Fairhaven Feast Hall, boasts “food, fools and frivolities” during a feast where guests are treated like royalty while being served an exclusive five-course meal along with drinks and suggestive and risqué humor. Tickets cost $73.95. They can be purchased at http://arizona.renfestinfo.com/the-pleasure-feast/.

A special edition goblet will be given. There’s limited seating for this event so reservations are recommended. The hall is also available for private events.

Jousting tournaments are held three times a day at the Arizona Renaissance Festival. (Courtesy of Arizona Renaissance Festival)

Special weekends include the new BrewFest March 24-25, and the Final Huzzah March 31-April 1. The latter is “no April Fool’s joke” as attendees can bring three canned food items or nonperishables for the Apache Junction Food Bank at the festival to receive free admission for a child, ages 5-12.

Advanced tickets can be purchased at: http://arizona.renfestinfo.com/ticket-information/. Discount tickets are available at Fry’s Food Stores. Seniors 60 and older who are eligible can get discount tickets from the Festival Box Office. There are designated student discount days. Children under 5 are free; no pets. Free parking.

For more information, visit RenFestInfo.com or call 520-463-2600.

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