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The Minnesota Renaissance Festival


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The Minnesota Renaissance Festival opens this Saturday and continues every weekend until September 29. Whether you’re a duke, knight, or serf, the festival provides entertainment for people of any age. But you might want to practice your Old English before you hop into a time machine and step into medieval life.

Here’s a look at what you will find at the festival.

Photo by Jennifer Arocha

Entertainment:
Live armored jousting: Held three times each day, you’ll see knights in full armor sitting fearlessly on their horses as they test their courage and skills in a classic jousting battle.
The Royal Guard: The men in red are seen on the festival grounds escorting the king and the queen, eating, gambling and fighting at their camp, roving the streets and playing with artillery at the front gate. They are always ready to entertain and educate on the history of the time period.
16 stages of live entertainment: Acts range from musical and dance groups to stage acts. You’ll want to watch the Danger Committee—a juggling, knife throwing comedy act that has been seen on America’s Got Talent.

Food and Drink:
Festival food: What’s the Renaissance Fair without a turkey leg? Get your medieval favorites (lots of poultry, beef and pork, soups and battered vegetables), along with other traditional fair food.
Royal Daily Events: These cost extra, but give you the opportunity to taste the best of the Renaissance. Events include a Mead Social where you can sample flavors of honey mead, The Bawdy Beer Show where you can enjoy a sampling of ales, a Royal Wine Tasting and Pub Crawl.
Feast of Fantasy: Feel like a king after indulging in a six-course meal. Included in the $80 ticket is two hours of entertainment, from jugglers to storytellers and belly dancers, plus two unique gifts. (Not intended for children under the age of 17.)

Family Fun:
Artisan shopping: This isn’t your typical Saturday trip to the mall. There are more than 250 artisan booths that sell handcrafted items such as jewelry, pottery, worked wood, leatherwork, paintings, hand-blown glass, and fine metal craftsmanship.
Games, activities and rides: Caricatures, face painters, hair braiding, wax hands, games (swan swing, archery, sliding joust), a climbing wall, fencing, camel and elephant rides, a petting zoo, maze, and more.
Children’s realm: A place for kids to play and get crafty with such activities as making a free wand, a costume contest (for kids 12 and younger), and the chance to be knighted by King Henry in a special ceremony.

Tickets: adults $21.95, seniors $19.95, children ages 5-12 $12.95, children 4 and younger free, weekend pass $33.95.

*The Bloomington Ferry Bridge on Highway 169 is currently reduced to one lane, so make sure to check out the website for alternative routes.

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