For some reason, the 36th annual Bay Area Renaissance Festival brought out the semi-barbarians in us all. From gaudy, period-themed costumes to grizzled, greasy turkey legs, it began to makes sense why patrons lined up and paid to be spanked at “The Whipping Post,” (for the authenticity of the era, of course). Once submerged in pseudo-Medieval England, located at the Mosi event grounds in Tampa, those without a fake English accent were the ones who sounded strange.
Merchandise booths were scattered throughout the forest area along with performance stages, games and food kiosks. Because a lot of the merchants and performers travel to Renaissance fairs throughout the country, many of them know each other, which gives a communal feeling to the event. A man dressed in peasant garb selling pickles threw ice at his peanut-selling competitors across the lane and heckled guests who walked past. The festival is pet-friendly so animals of all sorts were present including dogs, birds, rabbits and elephants.
This weekend’s theme is “Huzzah to the King,” which marks the closing weekend of the fair. Because of this, the fair will be opened on Friday as well as the weekend for “Festival Friday.” Gate tickets are priced at $19.95 while discount tickets can be bought ahead of time online. Parking for the event is free.
For more information go to http://www.bayarearenfest.com/