Everywhere you look you see belly dancers, knights in armor, fairies, the king and queen, birds of prey, Robin Hood and Little John. No you haven’t entered the Twilight Zone, it’s the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. You no longer are in Bonner Springs, Kan., but transported back in time to medieval Europe with the pageantry of the festival.
The 2013 Kansas City Renaissance Festival opened on Labor Day weekend and continues to run every weekend and Columbus Day, rain or shine. Through Sept. 15th bring five cans of non-perishable food items and receive $4.00 off the price of admission.
Shows run continuously throughout the grounds, from open to close. Catch a joust by knights in armor or venture to the Swill Pond and take in the tale of Robin Hood and Little John. Mermaids await a visit in the Mermaid Cove. Or slip into your rain gear and catch the show put on by the Washing Well Wenches. There are merchants everywhere, enough to keep any shop-a-holic busy from open to close. A person could get a stomach ache just sampling all the food vendors, though the turkey legs seem to be the favored item.
The festival includes seven Themed Weekends which began with the Pirates Ale Fest opening weekend. The 7th Annual Pet Fest will be held Sept. 7 and 8 with pet vendors, pet demonstrations, a hot dog eating contest and a Renaissance Romance Contest. Sept. 14 and 15 is the Highland Games with the Highland Games Championship, Arm Wrestling Competition and a Scottish Village. The Wonders of the World are the theme for the weekend of Sept. 21 and 22. The wonders will include belly dancing lessons and performances, a belly dance competition, fairies and a fairy festival and an eating contest. Sept. 28 and 29 is the Shamrocks and Shenanigans weekend. There will be a Celtic village, steampunk costume contest, fencing competition and an Irish Stepdancing Competition.
The month of October begins with the Wine, Chocolate and Romance theme. The 5th and 6th will bring the Chocolate Festival, a cupcake battle, grape stomp and the Wedding of the Century. Oktoberfest comes to the festival on Oct. 12 and 13. Participants can enjoy a Farmer’s Market, trick-or-treating, a fairy house auction and craft beer and wine tastings (it’s not all for the kids). The Harvest Huzzah closes the festival on Columbus Day. There will be a Farmer’s Market, Ladies’ Shopping Day, Military Appreciation Day and Service Industry Day.
The Kansas City Renaissance Festival is located in Bonner Springs, just off K7 and I-70.