On the weekend of October 22-23, myself and a friend headed out to Plantersville, TX for a fun-filled weekend at the Texas Renaissance Festival. It was my third visit to this wonderful festival and my friend's first time to go to any event of this type.
Up until just a few weeks before the event, I wasn't sure if we'd be able to make it this year due to the fact that the severe drought in Texas had given way to a number of large wildfires in the area. At two points in time this year, the festival grounds were threatened by the fires, but were spared on both occasions.
Once we knew for sure that the festival was going to happen, my friend and I made plans. We decided to stay at the local KOA Kampground near Lake Conroe in Montgomery, TX. While there is a campground on the festival grounds, there are no facilities. This fact, coupled with a twenty dollar camping fee, made the KOA look a lot nicer.
Being my friend's first visit to TRF, I told him that he could decide which shows we saw so long as I did two things: 1) grab a bottle of mead at my favorite spot in the Italian Village and 2) let me trek through the Magic Garden after consuming said bottle of mead.
We witnessed the opening ceremonies on Saturday morning, and quickly made our way back to the Italian Village by way of Sherwood Forest. After snagging a bottle of mead (sometime between nine and ten AM), we headed for the Magic Garden, where I planned to empty my bottle of mead and walk it off a bit. On the way to the garden, though, a fair maiden caught our attention and begged us to buy some of her Italian cuisine. I told her that we would return later and she said that if we didn't come back, she would cry. After making a promise to return, she allowed us to go to the garden.
The garden itself is quite a sight to see. It is decorated with all sorts of statues and displays ranging from ancient Asian art to ancient Greek statues. As loud as the festival can be, this has got to be the quietest spot on the grounds. While we drank the mead, we stopped every so often to take photos. One of my favorite photo ops is with a topless statue in the garden. It is included below. I've taken a photo with that particular statue every time I've gone to TRF.
After making our first pass through the garden, we made our way back to the Italian Village and bought our second bottle of mead (sometime between ten and ten-thirty). We decided to make one more run through the garden on this second bottle and, once again, the young maiden begged us to buy some of her food. She asked us if that was our second bottle of mead already and after saying,"Yes," she demanded that we buy some of her food. Once again, we promised to return and after our second run through the garden, we made good on our promise.
After a little fun back-and-forth banter with the maiden, I bought some lasagna from her. Then she offered me a kiss for putting up with all of her constant pleading, which I gladly accepted.
From here, my friend and I took in as many of the shows and musical acts that we could. Highlights of the day included The Sturdy Beggars (a mud pit show), Arsene (a French magician who remains mute through his entire show), Sound And Fury (a bawdy comedy troupe who had everyone laughing), and the Steele Sisters (a swordplay show).
Having had my lunch for the day in the Italian Village, my friend took in some Greek Cuisine. I don't remember what it was called, but I do remember that it smelled great.
We walked all over the festival grounds, interacting with employees and fellow visitors alike. We listened to the Royal Proclamation and watched dance lessons as well.
As our first day came to a close, we headed into Conroe to eat at a Tex-Mex restaurant called Fajita Jack's. It was delicious!
The next morning we went back to TRF and watched the pirates welcome everyone to the second day of festivities. Being Pirate Adventure Weekend, there were more than enough pirates running through the festival.
To start off our morning, we headed back to the Magic Garden. We didn't partake in mead or lasagna, but we did say hello to the young maiden who gave me a kiss the day before. We watched the Iris & Rose show (a very funny, dirty limerick-ridden show), the Ded Bob Show (a funny, fairly family friendly comedy show), and listened to quite a few wonderful bands, my favorite being Wine & Alchemy.
Later in the day we listened to a poet tell very, very dirty poems but I don't recall his name. He filled in for another performer and, having seen that performer in the past, was a much better act. I laughed until I cried on a few of his raunchy poems.
We also checked out the Clan Tynker Family Circus, which is very family friendly and very fun as well. Their show consisted of juggling, tight rope tricks, a bit of magic, and music and dancing. This was the second year I got to see them at TRF, and I've become quite a fan. I got a pic with one of their performers, Serendipity, and then myself and my friend took in the rest of the festival.
I drank a hurricane on my second day of the festival and, to be quite honest, it affected me more than the mead did. It was very sweet and quite tasty, but if I had to do it all over again, I'd have gone for another bottle of mead.
If you've never been to the Texas Renaissance Festival, I highly recommend you plan to visit it soon. It happens each weekend of October and November every year in Plantersville. Each weekend has a specific theme, and I've experienced Pirate Adventure, Roman Bacchanal, and Celtic Christmas. The shows stay primarily the same, with a few of them "adapting" to the weekend by adding in a few themed jokes or lines in their shows.
The food is excellent. There's the standard smoked meats, but TRF also has a few offerings from my side of the state line in Louisiana. In fact, I grabbed some fried alligator on a stick (dragon on a stick) on Sunday. There is also food from each country represented at the festival and a large amount of drinks, adult and otherwise, to be had as well.
Overall, the Texas Renaissance Festival is an experience that is only as good as you let it be. If you immerse yourself into the festivities, you'll have one of the best times of your life. There are events for the entire family and spectacles meant only for adults, all of which are clearly marked for festivalgoers.
This is a very fun festival to attend on weekends during October and November. It has become an annual event for me and I look forward to it each year. Fun ranges from the very kid-friendly to the very, very adult, so plan your visit wisely. Also, if you attend every year, I highly recommend seeing different shows each time you visit since many of the shows stay the same each year.
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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