Known for its turkey legs and Elizabethan attire, the Renaissance Festival is by far my favorite place to be. The gates alone act as a portal between times and, once crossed, the 21st century is left far behind. Within the first few minutes, I had been greeted by gypsies, pirates and a band of Vikings.
This was Mesquite High drama student Hayley Myers’ favorite part. “It (the festival) allows you to dress up and be silly, and have fun without having to worry about ridicule,” says Myers.
The faire itself can be entertaining, but everything is better with the people you love. This was proven to me time and time again as my friends pulled me into seemingly ridiculous situations. We endeavored to find the perfect costume, whilst wearing chocolate mustaches (courtesy of The Chocolate Maker, a vendor of sweets) and took numerous pictures with the festival’s Fairhaven village residents.
Although the joust is a must-see for everyone, the Knighting Ceremony was my favorite. Located in the Royal Pavilion, children of all ages gather ’round the king and queen to be dubbed knights and ladies. And upon leaving the ceremony, they are given a certificate and assigned a quest to do one good deed a day.
Seeing those young princes and princesses immersed in the moment warmed my heart. It’s times like these when I remember that the Renaissance Festival is more than just a funhouse. This is a place for family and friends to come together and be merry. I will most definitely be returning.
IF YOU GO
What: The 26th annual Arizona Renaissance Festival, a 30-acre village with costumed performers, rides, non-stop entertainment like falconry and jousting, and novelty food vendors
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through March 30
Where: Seven miles east of Apache Junction on U.S. 60 (Follow the signs)
Cost: Tickets available in advance for $10-$21 online and at Fry’s Food Stores; tickets are $12-$22 at the gate.
Information: (520) 463-2600 or RoyalFaires.com/arizona
• Alex, 16, of Gilbert, sent in a winning essay to earn a spot as a Junior Reporter for a day for GetOut and the Arizona Renaissance Festival.