If you're longing for the good ol' days of mead and maidens, trying to get fired up for the new season of Game of Thrones, or just hungry for a turkey leg, you're in luck. The Florida Renaissance Festival makes its third appearance at Miami's Historic Cauley Square Village for three weekends starting Saturday, March 29th, and running through Sunday, April 13.
With games, performances, vendors, songs, dance, jousting, turkey legs, beer - and don't forget the wenches - there's a little something to bring out the fun in everyone.
You'd be forgiven for having a sense of deja vu as Deerfield recently had its Renaissance Festival, but the Miami location offers a totally new experience. Show founder Bobby Rodriguez, who runs both Faires, promised he makes a valiant effort to stage each event in different ways. For example, the jousting.
"We have wonderful jousters [in Deerfield], and it's a choreographed show. The jousters that we have in Cauley Square are not choreographed. It's authentic, full-contact jousting. When these guys get hit, they get knocked off and it's real. They're in full suits of armor. The horses are twice the size of regular horses. If you've never seen that before, it's incredibly impressive."
Other highlights include archery demonstrations (for your inner Katniss or Merida), wild animal shows, and a chance to sip tea with Queen Isabella herself. That's not to mention all of the vendors with Renaissance-inspired wares, the delicious olde-time food, and performers like CuDubh, described as "original, dark heavy metal bagpipe."
"In this country, we experience the time period, the unique European phenomenon known as the Renaissance, through Hollywood," Rodriguez said. "Things like Robin Hood, and movies like that, glorify the days of chivalry. When you have TV shows like Game of Thrones and Queen Elizabeth, all of those different shows, it only revitalizes that whole fascination and that draw to the 16th century."
The Florida Renaissance Festival is a chance to time-travel without the aid of a TARDIS or speeding DeLorean.
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"It's an experience," he said. "Leaving the 21st century behind, your troubles behind, just like going to the movies. Except, instead of a two and a half-hour movie, it's a whole day. It's 500 years of fun in a single day."
The Florida Renaissance Festival at Miami's Historical Cauley Square Village (22400 Old Dixie Hwy, Miami) runs for three weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) from Saturday, March 29 through Sunday, April 13. Tickets range from $20 for a single day pass to $40 for a season pass. Kids get in for $9 for a single day or $14 for a season pass that covers all three weekends. To find the event schedule, tickets, and more, visit ren-fest.com.