Lecanto High School students had the opportunity to take a quest back in time at the 35th annual Bay Area Renaissance Festival sponsored by the Museum of Science and Industry [MOSI] located in Tampa.
The festival, which was set up to resemble a 16th century village, was held on weekends from Feb. 23 through April 7 from 10 a.m. to 6p.m. and featured over 100 vendors, contributing to the all- around atmosphere of the “village.”
The vendors’ presentation displayed many unique items, from sets of armor to longbows, corsets to elf ears, charms to wands, and many other one of a kind gifts.
Along with the many vendors and events, the festival also consisted of various themed weekends, including:
Wine, Chocolate, and Romance (Feb. 23rd and 24th)
- Highland Fling (March 2nd and 3rd)
- Buccaneer Beer Fest (March 9th and 10th)
- Shamrock and Shenanigans (March 16th and 17th)
- Festival Friday (March 22nd)
- Wonders of the World (March 23rd and 24th)
- Fiesta Festival (March 30th and 31st)
- Highland Seas Adventure (April 6th and 7th)
Each of these themed weekends gave visitors a chance to experience a new aspect of the festival and witness events and entertainment, such as the Highland Games, jousting, Irish games, and dancing, that they might not have had the chance to see otherwise.
“Last year I came during their Highland games, and this year I came on a pirate weekend. There is a lot to see at the fair; we didn’t even get to see all of the shows,” said senior Brian Imperato.
As visitors strolled through the village, they had the chance to browse the unique booths that had been set up as well as admire the medieval and steam-punk costumes of those working and those who had attended. There were food vendors, archery competitions, live entertainment, comedy sketches, human chess matches, and much, much more.
“It was a great place to just wander around. There were always cool costumes walking by, awesome vendors, or hilarious entertainers; there wasn’t a dull moment.” said Imperato. “It was so interesting to see how many people dressed up. There were a lot more people dressed up than last year. It was like a medieval Comic-Con.”
Special performances were also held, which included:
- The Wheel of Death, a death defying show put on by Ichabod Wainwright.
- Sirena, the ethereal singing of the sirens.
- Splatter Time Players, a messy performance put on by brothers James and Lickety Watch in which they solved their problems using mud.
- The Jypsy Jesters, an acrobatic show containing ballerinas, jugglers, tight ropes, and more.
- Cu Dubh, a musical group performing with thundering drums and bagpipes.
- Merbella’s Live Mermaids, a mermaid meet and greet.
- Warhorse Jousting, in which brave knights tested their might against one another.
Imperato found one performing group in particular to be his favorite part of the festival itself. The group called “The Craic” was a musical group performing with drums, the violin, bagpipes, and comedy sketches.
“My favorite part was watching Craic play, twice!” said Imperato, who is even considering hiring the group for his graduation party this year if possible.
Students also had the opportunity to attend some of the age appropriate events offered, such as:
The Royal Romance Package in which couples could enjoy romantic refreshment for two, admission for two into the festival, a personal servant for an hour, two keepsake champagne flutes, a non-alcoholic champagne substitute, salmon, herbed cheeses, crostini, and chocolate covered strawberries.
- The Renaissance Smoker in which attendees could enjoy samplings of various hors d’oevurs while being entertained by the Bawdy Boys and their songs and tales.
- Royal High Tea, where students could join Her Majesty, the Queen, in tea which included delicious delicacies and unique entertainment.
In Imperato’s opinion, it is a great event, and something not to miss.
“I would definitely recommend people to go, and I wouldn’t mind coming back again next year. Some shows seem to be the same as last year, but most shows are specific to each weekend’s theme,” said Imperato.