Texas Renaissance Festival
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (August 2009)|
|Texas Renaissance Festival|
Women in costume at the Texas Renaissance Festival
|Dates||Weekends in October and November|
|Location(s)||21778 FM 1774 Todd Mission, Texas 77363|
|Attendance||606,694 in 2012|
|Area||55 Acres |
The Texas Renaissance Festival (TRF) started in 1974 on the location of an old strip mining site. The Texas Renaissance Festival claims to be "the nation’s largest Renaissance theme park." The festival sits on 55 acres of land, and offers camping facilities to patrons. The festival welcomes half a million guests annually.
The Texas Renaissance Festival was founded in 1974 by George Coulman. At the time, it spanned only fifteen acres, with three stages featuring small improv theatre groups, and merchants selling their goods on blankets. The opening year saw a turn-out of 33,000, nearly a twentieth of the turnout of 2012.
The Texas Renaissance Festival features about 500 costumed performers on 17 stages; 340 shoppes including: international food purveyors, unique artisans, merchants and craft vendors; human-powered rides; an abundance of performers walking among the guests, and the Queen's Royal Finale (fireworks if weather permits) at dusk.
Each of the eight weekends of the festival take on a different theme, influencing the performances, costumes, food, drink, art, shops, contests, and games throughout the festival grounds.
- Oktoberfest - German theme, including polka music and dancing, and the serving of traditional German beer.
- 1001 Dreams - Fantasy theme, encouraging lavish costumes of wizards, fairies, and elves and including several fantastical contests, such as scavenger hunts and costume contests.
- All Hallows Eve - Medieval Halloween theme, including spooky decorations and contests, such as jack-o-lantern carving contests, to celebrate the holiday.
- Pirate Adventure - Pirate theme, encouraging pirate costumes and including several sea-related games and contests.
- Roman Bacchanal - Roman theme, encouraging roman costumes and hosting several roman-themed contests and games such as toga contests and spaghetti eating contests.
- Barbarian Invasion - Medieval Barbarian theme, encouraging costumes of medieval barbarians and including "barbaric" contests such as the "Barbarian Battle Cry" contest and eating contests.
- Highland Fling - Scottish theme, encouraging traditional Scottish costumes and including bagpipe-playing and traditional Scottish food and drink.
- Celtic Christmas - Christmas theme, including Christmas decorations and music, and featuring Christmas-themed contests such as "Candy Cane Hunt" and "Guess the Present" contests.
The festival grounds feature 17 stages, which host a wide variety of performances. The festival features several medieval-themed music and dance groups, including everything from belly dancing, to harps and fiddles, to bagpipes and accordions, to the carillon. Also, throughout the festival several demonstrating artists can be found presenting the methods of various medieval trades, such as glassblowing, forging armor, candle-making, coin minting, and others to visitors.
On the larger stages, other, grander events take place, the largest of which is the Joust. The Joust is performed by the Hanlon-Lees Action Theatre, and is an accurate reenactment of a medieval joust, featuring authentic weapons, costumed horses, and armored knights. Other large performances at the festival include the Birds of Prey show, a highly praised free-flying bird show including hawks, owls, vultures, and eagles, the Fire, Whip Show, the Clan Tynker Family Circus, and the School of Sword.
At the end of the festival, a Royal Finale takes place in the Arena, featuring performances from several of the entertainers and musicians, and closing with a Royal Fireworks presentation.
- About Us, Texas Renaissance Festival, retrieved 2012-01-011
- "Texas Renaissance Festival History".
- "Official Facebook Information Page".
- "2012 Texas Renaissance Festival Season Announced | Texas Renaissance Festival". Texrenfest.com. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
- "Texas Renaissance Festival History". Retrieved February 15, 2014.
- Brochure (PDF), Texas Renaissance Festival, retrieved 2012-01-11
- "Themed Weekends". Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- "Festival Performers".
- "Demonstrating Artists".
- "The Joust by the Hanlon-Lees Action Theater".
- "Birds of Prey".
- "Entertainment Schedule 2013".
- "Royal Finale".
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