COLUMN: Step back in time at the Maryland Renaissance Festival

Sirs, lords, maidens and wenches, among many other mythical creatures, travel to the Renaissance Festival to partake in numerous activities from the 16th century at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.

It’s there that lovers of the Renaissance can partake in various historical activities from the 16th century and do some shopping. The event kicked off in August and runs through Oct. 22, at 1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis.

I recently traveled to the Maryland Renaissance Festival, also known as Renn Fest, to see local artists and actors and try some medieval food. I’ve only attended the year prior, so I thought this time around would be a fun refresher. I attended during the weekend of Sept. 17, which was pirate theme, and after walking though the grounds, trying the amazing food, and watching various acts.

When walking into the festival, all types of characters excitedly roamed the grounds in their pirate and fairy costumes, as well as some old maids and knights! As I walked through the dusty grounds, lively Celtic music, along with the sound of stomps and hurrahs, ensued in the background. The first thing I did was follow the aroma of roasted turkey legs found on Meadow Lane and, through the not-very-16th- century, Buffalo chicken calzones from Mary’s Dale Way. My favorites were obviously the sweet treats where I had some funnel cake and cheesecake on a stick from the White Stage. Though nothing is better than a cup of mead to top it off.

Eating amazing food was not the only exciting activity to partake in at the Renb Fest; I quickly moved toward the jousting field when I heard rousing shouts and cheers ( I am not ashamed to say I rooted for whichever one was winning). The game was lively and exhilarating, but there was still so much to see. The “Hey Nunnie Nunnie” play was being performed and provided a joyful comedic background to the faire.

After watching some live entertainment, I walked around the festival looking at some jewelry, blown-glass designs, pottery, and other crafts made by local artisans. I enjoyed shopping from the Echo and Wild shop where they sold fairy and mermaid items amongst other dainty-like necklaces and jewelry. Though, I definitely not the only attendee enjoying all the activities the Renaissance Festival had to offer…

During my visit, I met a gothic pirate who is a dedicated Ren-Faire attendee,  Olivia Stinson. The 29-year-old, from Frederick, is an event planner for a tech company in downtown Frederick. She said she has been attending the lively festival every year since 2018. During Renn Fest, her favorite activity “other than drinking” is “probably shopping from local artisans, so like, buying bone jewelry from local artisans, oh and the coin press.”

Olivia said her favorite themes have been Fay or Fairytale, and, of course, pirate theme. She said her favorite food from the festival was the giant turkey legs and the mac and cheese bites “because they are delicious”. Olivia said she has attended many other Renaissance festivals in other states; however, the Maryland Renaissance Festival has been her favorite.

The Maryland Renaissance Festival is not just a celebration of history and culture; it’s also a family-friendly event. Activities and attractions are specifically designed for children, including games, crafts, and interactive storytelling sessions. Kids can even meet their favorite characters from fairy tales and legends, adding an extra touch of magic to their experience.

The Maryland Renaissance is held at 1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis. Cost is $30 a ticket per adult and free for children under 10 years of age. For tickets and more information, go to


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