In spite of Ike's ravaging damages across Southeast Texas, this Year's Annual Texas Renaissance Festival will be bigger and better than ever before at the 53-acres faire park north of Houston. The Faire comes alive with the gaiety of Old England Oct. 11. Discover the Old World - Texas Style!
By Logan Hawkes
In 1974, visionary George Coulam began the magical transformation of a 15-acre parcel of land that was an old strip mining site. Today, the site is home to the Nation’s largest and most acclaimed Renaissance Festival theme park.
What began as only three stages and a handful of vendors selling their wares off blankets under trees has evolved into a fantasy world of castles and knights, magicians and jousters, and everything else you could imagine in a 16th Century village.
Coulam’s creative genius and attention to detail has shaped a fantasy Kingdom like no other in the Land. Patrons escape back in time to the pleasures of a simpler age. Hundreds of pines and other native trees have been carefully planted beside permanent shoppes with turrets and deeply pitched roofs, all in keeping with the architectural styles of the Renaissance period. Entertainers, Shoppe keepers, even ticket takers all don 16th Century attire and speak the tongue of Lords and Ladies, paupers, and wenches.
Patrons encounter jugglers, minstrels, and fortunetellers as they stroll down shaded cobblestone pathways en route to works of pottery, sculpted metal, and woodcarvings inside over 350 shoppes. 53-acres of grassy meadows and meticulously maintained gardens dot the landscape providing the perfect backdrop for more than 200 daily performances at 16 stages, including a Greco-Roman Amphitheatre. Patrons can feast on a variety of authentic international cuisine including Polish, Greek, Spanish, Scottish and English dishes. The Festival continues to grow each year and currently greets more than 400,000 patrons annually. Parking is always free, campsites are available for a nominal fee.
For eight weekends running this fall, 400,000-plus Texans will once again crowd into the faire-grounds of the Texas Renaissance Festival near Plantersville to celebrate 16th century life and merriment in what has turned out to be one of the largest events of its kind in the nation.
53-acres of themed entertainment:
The Arena - housing full-contact jousting four times daily
The Gardens of New Market Village
The Magic Garden, “Fantasy Garden”
The English Garden, “Titania’s Bower”
The Water Garden, “Fons Florida Aeterna”
The Rose Garden, “The War of the Roses”
More than 200 performances daily
350 unique artisan and craft retailers
English, French, German, Italian and Polish cuisine served up fresh
Dozens of rides and games
The Royal Fireworks held daily at dusk above the Tournament Field
Thousands of roaming costumed characters
Weekend themes and dates include:
10/8 - 10/92
Oktoberfest - Germany opens the faire in true Oktoberfest style with the world-famous activities including a yoddeling and polka contests. The air will echo with Alpine yodeling and the wafting smells of Bratwurst and sauerkraut. And - of course - bier! The food is so good and plentiful you might feel like you need to go online to get on a nice diet with Medifast coupons after you attend, but in reality don't you deserve to treat yourself for Oktoberfest?
1001 Dreams - Bring your dreams to life as wizards, elves
and fairies enchant the streets of our fair village. Come and live the fantasy!
Pirate Adventure - Ye best set sail me hearties for a swashbuckling weekend as Pirates invade the shire. Search for treasure, drink bottomless pints, sing songs of the sea life and enter the best-dressed Pirate Contest.
All Hallows Eve - Ghosts and ghouls come out to celebrate the scariest of holidays. Compete in our costume contest and win fantastic prizes.
Roman Bacchanal - The Romans taught us many things, but above all they taught us how to party. Help us celebrate the glory of Rome with the ultimate toga party.
Highland Fling - Be transported to the highlands as New Market Village honors all that is Scottish with a weekend full of dancing, singing and drinking.
Barbarian Invasion - The Barbarian King rules this weekend, a time to dress in your most barbaric attire and compete in barbaric games of fun and skill. Eat and play like a barbarian!
Celtic Christmas - Come meet Father Christmas as New Market Village welcomes in the Christmas season with 16th century grandeur. It's especially fun for the kiddies to see jolly Clauses in red Santa suits.
Tickets are available at discount ticket outlets throughout Texas: HEB, Randall’s, Market Basket and Woodforest Bank, as well as on-line at www.texrenfest.com, by phone or by mail.
Gate prices: Adult - $23.00 (Ages 13 & up) Child - $11.00 (Ages 5 -12). Discount prices: Adult - $19.00 (Ages 13 & up) Child - $9.00 (Ages 5 -12) Children 4 and under are free.
The Texas Renaissance Festival is located on FM 1774 between Magnolia and Plantersville, 45 minutes northwest of Houston. The 2010 Festival will take place Saturdays, Sundays and Thanksgiving Friday from October 9th, through November 28th. For more information, log on to www.texrenfest.com or call 800-458-3435.
All photos courtesy of the Texas Renaissance Festival