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Of Brave Knights & Fair Maidens…

February 19, 2010 by · 5 Comments 

a villainous knight!

a villainous knight!

It is a land of kings and queens, knights and ladies, villains and heroes.  The grounds ring with quaint music, fairy singing, and pounding hooves culminating in clanging swords.  Succulent smells of spiced meats, flavorful chocolates, and smoked turkey legs fill the air.  There are rides for the children, shops full of finery for the maidens, and action packed jousting shows for all those not faint of heart.  From singing nuns to black-hearted knaves, the Arizona Renaissance Festival has something for every member of your family!

This past weekend, we traveled to the Phoenix area for the express purpose of visiting the Arizona Renaissance Festival.  We hauled the 5th wheel to a campground near Florence, and were not disappointed that we had made this short r.v. excursion just for that one destination.  The venue consists of daily jousting tournaments, hundreds of shops, and nearly a dozen stages with continuous, family-friendly entertainment varying from comedians, acrobats, and musicians, to falconry and bull-whip exhibitions.

broom shop

one of the many peddler shops

My family’s favorite part of the festival was the jousting tournaments!  There were 4 knights – 2 honorable and 2 evil.  We chose to always sit in good Sir Eggeron’s stands, cheering him to victory!  The royal family would then reward the victorious knight with a beribboned headband or wooden dagger which the knight would then present to a young maiden or squire sitting in their stands   [if you have younger children, try to sit in the front row :) ].  On the day we went, during the noon joust, our brave Sir Eggeron was mock-wounded in sword play.  Daddy looked over to find one of our young sons crying – he thought that our knight actually had been run through!

2 knights jousting

jousting match

giant dragon slide

giant dragon slide

We enjoyed smoked turkey legs for lunch, which were a unanimous hit, and the girls perused the dress shops for reenactment attire.  Our family loves to period dress, and while we weren’t prepared for the festival, I had braided the girls’ hair that morning, and one of the big girls had made flowered headbands for herself and her sisters during our drive time.  You can pay to have hair braided and interwoven with flowers at the festival, and can purchase fairy headbands, swords and shields.  We could easily have spent several days there and not been able to attend all the shows or see all the sites!  Everyone in our family enjoyed themselves, and would like to go back!

The Arizona Ren. Fest. takes place every Sat. and Sun. during February and March.  While this is a little too far for those of you on the east coast to make a weekend jaunt of it, there is also a festival in North Carolina during October and November.   You can find more information about the Arizona Renaissance Festival, and the Carolinas Renaissance Festival.  These shows are great for a weekend excursion to get out of your snowy surrounding, and well worth the effort of dewinterizing the r.v!   If your family enjoys tales of chivalry and action, his is definitely one trip you will want to put on your calendar!

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5 Responses to “Of Brave Knights & Fair Maidens…”
  1. Genevieve says:

    This looks really fun. I have always wanted to do this with my kids. Do you know of any like this in Southern California?

  2. RA Manseau says:

    Arizona is not that far from California! This looks like great fun! I really think that this would be worth the drive, especially if we dressed up for it in period dress! Thanks for sharing this great trip!

  3. Dana T. says:

    Hi Genevieve!
    I haven’t been to a Ren. Fest. in Cali., but I do know that there is one that takes place in northern CA…I don’t know the details, but I bet that any would come up with a ‘renaissance festival California’ google search.

    We had such a fun time that I think we will go back in a couple of weeks! When you are looking at attending these, be sure to check out the ‘special events’ button – they often have deals, like kids get in free. The day that we went, we got 2 for 1 on adult tickets; saved us $60!
    Hope that if you can make it, you have as much fun as we did! :) Dana

  4. Denise N. Crew says:

    Dana looks like fun!!! Great deal on the savings!!!

  5. Yvette L. Schulz says:

    Renaissance Faires are always so fun!!!! The Arizona Faire is a very popular Faire amongst fair-goers, Many travel from far distances to attend this event. I’ve never been to that one but would LOVE to go sometime! =0)

    Southern Faire in California will be starting the second Saturday in April. The Original Renaissance Faire runs April 10 – May 23, 2010 at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area – Irwindale, CA. That event is also a load of fun. =0)

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