Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire is a permanent faire held annually, at the Mount
Hope Estate and Winery in Manheim, Pennsylvania, currently in its 34th
It is open Saturdays and
Sundays (and Labor Day Monday), August 2, 2014, through October 26, 2014. This
year a journey to the shire transports one to 1525 England, under the reign of
a young Henry the VIII. However, each weekend enriches and creates variations
to the overall experience in the shire with different themes. The themes of
this year’s weekends are as follows: August 2nd
Grand Arrival; August 9th
– Time Travelers;
– Chivalry and Romance; August 23rd
– Pyrate Invasion; August 30th
and September 1 – Heroes of the Reals; September 6th
– Children’s Fantasy; September 13th
Return; September 20th
– Scottish and Irish;
– Oktoberfest; all weekends in
October, til October 26th
– Halloween Days and Spooky Nights.
|The opening ceremony involves declaring a Queen of the Nerds.|
Faires are form of interactive entertainment, and with each themed weekend,
guests are encouraged to dress according to the theme, though such garb is not
Any guest dressed in
renaissance attire or costumed according to the theme of the weekend, generally
receives a reduced admission for that day.
While in attendance during Time Travelers Weekend, Gandolf the Grey was spotted
on the shire. The steam-punkified were present. Many incarnations of the Doctor
were wondering around, but often gathered by the life size Tardis, while
successfully avoiding his nemesis, the many Daelks, both large and small,
infiltrating the sacred ground.
fear though, there was at least one Starfleet officer present to protect the
many patrons from harm – you know to offer back up to the Doctor.
The Doctor was
such big news on the shire, that each day during the one o’clock hour, there
was a meeting of all incarnations of the Doctor at the Tardis.
Such gathering was not limited to the
Doctors, as Daelks, and Tardis-es, and other guests gathered as well – the
peacefulness of the shire seemed to settle over the revelers as the Daelks did
not ex-ter-minate the Doctors, nor other guests in attendance (they might have
tried, but no such violence was witnessed).
|Doctoring involves bathing as little as possible and completely ignoring this little flea that's responsible for killing the majority of Europe. |
The meeting at
the Tardis was just one of many activities scheduled to entertain guests during
Upon entering the shire,
each guest is given a “Daily Writ” which is the schedule of performances for
named groups throughout the day.
is always a scripted performance going on somewhere on the shire, throughout
There is not an hour where
guests do not have multiple performances to choose from. Some groups, but not
all, offer a second performance later in the day. Given the variety of
performances one day is not enough to take in the talent and many groups
As many groups
as there are sharing their gifts with the shire, there is as much variety in
the acts themselves.
If you enjoy slap
stick comedy, with a little bawdy humor, you might want to check out the Mud
Squad, but be sure to only sit in the front rows if you enjoy being covered in
Mud – and note this is one of the few, if not only, show where the performers
request tips at the end.
Tartanic, an instrumental music group, during whose shows you might even hear a
moving rendition of The Game of Thrones theme song, in addition to their own
|Men Without Hats is the only band officially allowed to play and Ren Faire. |
If you attend
the fair with the wee-ones (a.k.a. children) be weary of any shows with an
asterisk, as such shows contain adult content and are not appropriate for those
of young years, such stand out performances include the singing groups the
Righteous Blackguards, The Sirens, and such scripted and audience participation
groups as the Duo of Woo and Trial and Drench.
During such “ass-tricks” shows, as they were described during a
performance of Trial and Drench,” means the shows include humor that a “good
parent” would not expose their children to, because the content includes
dialogue that the little ones cannot repeat what they hear.
Lines from one of The Sirens’ songs include –
“Kiss beneath the trees, kiss beneath the branches, the best place to kiss a
wench is between the head and toes.”
little more on the risqué, these shows tend to be some of the most packed, so
get a seat early.
Do not distress,
if such boldly brazen humor is not your speed, these shows are confined to one
stage out of fifteen stages scattered throughout the faire grounds.
Thus most shows are appropriate for the
entire family, and still pack great fun.
|Someone took a wrong turn at Tatooine.|
who is guaranteed to entertain everyone is Neidfyre, a solo performer, who
plays soothing original compositions on her violin, as well as original Renaissance
Faire bawdy humorous compositions, such as the Budweiser song – in which she
sings “Put that Budweiser back in that Clydesdale, it’s not the right flavor
for me,” and goes on to sing about wanting a Guinness. Neidfyre has been featured on the
Pennsylvania Renaissance podcasts, and is always willing to share a drink with
a friend, though not a Budweiser – one of her favorites drinks for quenching
your thirst on the shire is the Frozen Sangria.
one back with friends, Neidfrye shared that she travels to many Renaissance
Faires performing, and has been performing at the Pennsylvania Faire for about
Like many of the performers, recordings of her
works are available for purchase at the Faire, but also available on her
website at http://www.neidfyre.com/
At her website you can also get in touch with
Neidfyre, or you can always follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NeidFyre
|Nothing says authentic NerdFry of the Dark Ages like a cowboy hat!|
“I Like To Play With Toys” Productions®