Education and Fun Near the Nation's Capital

The Maryland Renaissance Festival is held each year in September and October in the town of Crownsville. The location is convenient to the highway and is open from 10 - 7:00 pm. The festival is open daily regardless of the weather. The festival is considered one of the area's premier outdoor events and is the second largest festival in the United States. The first year for the festival was 1977 and has grown from a small renaissance village people could visit to a large theme show based event with more than 1,300 participants and nearly 300,000 visitors each season.

The event offers 85 acres of parking space which is capable of handing the nearly 15,000 daily visitors. The festival features an EnglishTurdor village set on 25 acres of woods and fields set to recreate a feeling of chivalry, bawdiness, and a traditional Renaissance era feel. The festival offers more than 130 shops that feature handmade wares created by village artisans. There are 42 food choices that include traditional Renaissance fare.

Those attending the Renaissance Festival are encourage to dress in period garb and can rent costumes any day the fair is open. The costume rental booth is located in the first booth to the left upon entering the festival. Keep in mind costume rentals are on the first come first serve basis, so if you and your family would like to choose from a large variety of costumes, arrive at the gate early. Costumes must be returned each day by 6:00 pm. The costume booth will store your clothing securely until you have returned your costume. Renters need a valid drivers license and will need to leave it at the rental booth until their costume is returned.

Each year, the festival creates a new storyline that is featured on the website. In order to get the most of your visit, share the story with your friends and family prior to attending the festival. Once you have arrived at the festival, you can enjoy a variety of food, crafts, attractions, and entertainment while you stroll the grounds. Performances may vary from day to day, so if there is a particular feature you would like to enjoy, view the website ahead of time for the schedule.

Renaissance Festival fare includes a variety of period foods. You can enjoy foods like steak or sausage on a stick, fish and chips, Canterbury Pork Pockets, meat pies, and turkey legs. The festival also features Maryland cuisine like crab cake sandwiches, fresh seafood including oysters, mussels, and shrimp, and homemade crab dip. There are also a variety of other foods available including bagels, corn on the cob, chili poppers, gyros, and chicken sandwiches. Dessert choices include cobbler, ice cream, and cookies and milk.

Those who are interested in taking home a Renassaince souvenir will have a variety of handcrafted goods from which to choose. Masks, clothing, beadwork, books, goblets, pottery, wood furniture, and garden wares are all popular purchases from the marketplace. If you are searching for an exciting, unique opportunity for your entire family, head to the Maryland Renaissance Festival.

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