A renaissance Fair is usually a weekend celebration in the USA where a certain historic period within the renaissance, is acted out. There are often stalls and entertainment as well as things to eat. The period which they are set will be determined by the organisers and is often the time of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England. Sometimes they are later such as Henry VIII or set in other countries. Sometimes they may be medieval or even set after the renaissance period.
Visitors to the fair are encouraged to dress up in a costume representing the time the fair is set. This is not essential, but it can help to add to the fun and lots of people do join in with it. The fairs tend to be over a weekend and there is often camping available for visitors who want to stay for a prolonged period of time. There are often places where costumes can be hired or bought which makes it easier for everyone to join in.
There are often entertainers in historical costumers who wander around the fair. However, sometimes there are shows put on where there might be comedy or excerpts from Shakespeare and things like that. There might be musicians, jugglers, singers and actors as well as dancing to provide entertainment for all.
Some fairs are very strict in what they do to make sure that it adheres closely to what went on at the time that it is staged. However, others are more light hearted with regards to this and will allow people to wear fantasy outfits such as elves, wizards and centaurs.
There are stalls selling many things. These ten to be themed to the fair and so handicrafts, clothes, books and art that are all in some way renaissance themed. There are also games and fairground type stalls where there might be axe throwing, archery or even drench-a-wrench events. There are sometimes rides, but they tend to be people powered not machine powered so swing boats, animal rides and things like that may be seen. There may also be animal displays such as falconry and even live jousting may take place at bigger events.
There is a selection of food stalls at the fairs. These serve typically festival style food and so are unlikely to be themed to the event. However, this does mean that there will be something for every taste.
Fairs will differ and so it is a good idea to find out what to expect from them before you go. You may find that a smaller fair will have less variety but they could be friendlier. You also need to check on costumes as some fairs do not mind fantastical characters such as elves and other do. Also some allow replica weapons to be carried and some only allow those people affiliated with the fair to be able to do so. It is therefore always wise to check first, just to be sure.
Alan is a retired film maker with years of experience in war movies. He started business in providing costumes and accessories to the upcoming actors. He has now started selling medieval armor and weapons too.