The 24th Bristol Renaissance Faire opens on Saturday, July 9, 2011, and will run for nine weekends, through Labor Day Monday, September 5, 2011. The Renaissance Faire is a daytime getaway to a different era, located on the Illinois/Wisconsin border, making it an ideal daytrip from the Chicago and Milwaukee areas. Visit the ren faire for a rollicking romp through Elizabethan England, complete with noble knights, willful wenches…and philandering pirates!
Update: Bristol Renaissance Faire celebrates 25th anniversary
As Captain Jack Sparrow returns to movie screens, Queen Elizabeth has extended a seasonal moratorium on plundering Spanish treasure ships and summoned her seafaring “explorers” to set sail for the hamlet of Bristol, in preparation for a summer filled with music, merriment, and at least a modicum of mayhem.
The furloughed pirates – along with an anticipated 200,000-plus summer visitors – will find no shortage of outlets for their wanderlust among the eclectic diversions of the Bristol Renaissance Faire. For those who want to check their inhibitions at the gate, there’ll be ample opportunity to whoop and holler at jousting knights, get down and dirty with raucous, earth-clad mud beggars, or hurl a ripe tomato at a blustering braggart.
Visitors inclined toward more leisurely, serene pursuits will find a comparable bounty of enjoyments, from watching artistic glass-blowers create one-of-a-kind works of art, to joining in a round of 16th Century court dancing, or listening to the musical dulcet tones of a world-class harpist.
Bristol’s live action fantasy-play game, RenQuest, returns with an entirely new storyline. Originating in 2008, RenQuest brings the worldwide popularity of massively multiplayer online role-playing games, like World of Warcraft, into the live action dimension of the Renaissance faire, creating an interactive theatrical experience that offers gamers an unprecedented opportunity to test their mental and physical skills beyond the realm of their computer screens.
Kids Quests is a new addition to the activities offered at the ren-faire. The Faire’s youngest patrons
(a.k.a. “nipperkins”), provides two daily opportunities to embark on age-appropriate adventures. Kids aid the troll Argyle in his ongoing attempts to thwart the dastardly plans of mean old Snifflewort. Kids Quests will set out from Bristol’s Kids Kingdom, an enclosed play area filled with oversized sand boxes, a huge climb-aboard pirate ship, and a cast of fable-favorite characters presiding over interactive games, crafts and other child-friendly activities.
Festivities at the Faire take their framework from the summer day in 1574 when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth visited the English hamlet of Bristol. Queen Elizabeth and other historically based characters are juxtaposed with fictional scenarios, such as the popular street-fighting escapades of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Scheduled shows feature jousting knights on horseback, swashbuckling swordsmen, dancers, musicians, rope-walkers, acrobats, jugglers and an eclectic assortment of comedic performers who invite their audiences to become part of the act.
Between stages, faire streets are lined with game and ride areas, food vendors offering a palate-pleasing array of epicurean delights, and merchants selling everything from sterling silver jewelry to rare-edition books and hand-caned brooms. Strolling minstrels, jesters and other era characters mingle with faire-goers, many of whom come dressed in their own period costumes.
Located on 30 wooded acres, just west of I-94’s Russell Road exit, near Kenosha, Wis., the Bristol Renaissance Faire will be open rain or shine, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., every Saturday and Sunday, July 9 through Sep. 4, and on Labor Day Monday, Sep. 5. Tickets are $19.95 for adults and $9.75 for children. Advance ticket discounts are available. For additional information about the ren-faire and ticket offers, see the Bristol Renaissance Faire website.
Weekend events in Lake County