Upon entering the grounds, a Medieval marketplace appears – almost like Brigadoon rising out of the mist -- offering a step back in time. No electricity. Different wardrobes. It is a different, simpler yet more rugged way of life. Although it is in its final weeks, the Bristol Renaissance Faire serves as wonderful experience for children of all ages.
The Bristol Renaissance Faire works to recreate “a time when knights were noble, maids were merry and turkey legs were titanic.” Food, clothing, weapons and hat shops appear immediately upon entering the grounds – as do a vast array of people dressed in a variety of garb, from medieval to modern. Even visitors dress up.
Fairies in a variety of colors appear out of nowhere along the way. Even the dark fairies appear and interact with both the other fairies and with visitors.
Other period entertainment abounds as well. From Robin Hood and Little John spinning the “R”-rated “Wheel of Sin,” singing bawdy songs, to roving minstrels, balancing acts, aerial acts, performers on stilts, comic swordsmen and jousting, the day is never dull. It is a cacophony of sights and sounds that tease the senses.
With a menu that ranges from pickles to pork ribs, including turkey drumsticks, roasted nuts, and “dragon wings,” food also reflects the era.
Games and participatory activities range from a sixteenth century merry-go-round, to strength challenges, to wooden toy boat races, to – for a small fee – archery, camel rides, catapulting frogs, crossbow target practice and several other activities that involve manual labor. Scheduled shows also take place throughout the fairgrounds throughout the day. A special program called RenQuestTM also exists for visitors to be interactively involved in the activities.
The Faire, located off I-94 at the Illinois and Wisconsin border, is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Labor Day weekend, September 2, 2013. Adult tickets are $17.95, with discount coupons online and through Walgreen’s. Tickets for children aged five to 12 for a single day is $7.50 and those younger than five enter for free. Free or preferential $5 parking are a breeze with the courteous, helpful staff in the lot.
For a full day of nonstop fun, the Bristol Renaissance Faire is worth the jaunt.