The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire will celebrate its 35th Anniversary Season with the return of King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine reigning over the mirth and merriment planned for their arrival.
As the castle gates open and guests will entire the year of 1513. Our brave King, Henry VIII has returned home in triumph from his glorious victory over the French in the Battle of the Spurs. Meanwhile, back in England, the treacherous Scots to the North took advantage of Henry's absence and invaded! Obviously, our northern neighbors had no idea that our Queen, Catherine of Aragon is no blushing bride, but a strong and fearless leader. As soon as our Queen heard news of the Scottish invasion, she immediately suited up in armor and rode north to speak to her troops before the Battle of Flodden Field. She gave a rousing speech which led to a glorious victory! Now King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine of Aragon are returning from war and to meet here, in Mount Hope for a glorious victory celebration!
After a 9-year hiatus, Greg Ramsey returns for his 17th wonderful season at Mount Hope. Starting as a member of the acting company in 1989, Greg rose through the ranks even as he pursued an Equity acting career across the country. Greg is a Certified Canadian Fight Director, has certified as a Teacher of Stage Combat through the Society of American Fight Directors and an alumni of The United Stuntman’s Association, Stunt School. Greg holds the rank of third degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and Kendo. Greg has staged over 500 fights ranging from: the bloody battles of Arizona Shakespeare’s "Macbeth", to mass melees of the PA Renaissance Faire’s Human Chess Match, to the tragic duel ending Theatre of the Seventh Sisters "Hamlet". Greg’s recent interests include sword cutlery, and blacksmithing.
Kristen Spangenberg returns to the Faire for her second season as Queen Catherine of Aragon. Past roles upon the Shire of Mount Hope include Tabitha Lowden, the grimy wench with a few screws loose and Princess Isabella Medici. She also has performed with numerous children’s theatres including Artspower National Tours and NTC and past performances of A Dickens of a Christmas at the Mt. Hope Mansion. She is a graduate of Temple University with a B.A in Theatre.
The festivities planned for the 13-week season of the Faire feature over 90 shows daily on open-air stages and the village streets with music, dance, and action-packed performances. The Revels Schedule features something for all ages including the Royal Falconer’s birds of prey, winsome wenches and handsome rogues singing tales of love and drynke, archery demonstrations, musicians, jugglers, hypnotism, children’s trunke shows and more.
The entertainment is endless as the citizens of the Shire fill the streets with improvised song, swordplay, and even mud begging. Man-powered rides, a Gaming Village, the Fight Circle, a Dungeon Museum and an Amazing Maze all add to the thrill of the Shire.
Scores of merchants and handcraft artisans throughout the Shire offer unique wares for the shopper in everyone. The glass blower creates his wares before your very eyes. Herbs, potions & botanicals handcrafted by the Shire’s herbalist are available at the Herb Garden & Apothecary. Unique pieces of jewelry from shops including Forever Amber, the Emerald Castle and the Crown Jewels have something to adorn everyone. Authentic blacksmiths create real swords and shields. Hundreds of other merchants offer unique wares including Renaissance costuming, specialty teas, home and garden décor, and leatherwork.
Twenty-four Royal Kitchens dot the Shire promising to satisfy any taste serving a variety of foods and libations. Delectable foods originate from around the globe ranging from Giante Turkey Legges, to Italian and German favorites and BBQ ribs, pork and beef and luscious desserts including cupcakes, funnel stix and ice cream. The new Against the Grain kitchen will offer gluten-free selections and The Prime Cut will feature Prime Rib Sandwiches. Refreshing Swashbuckler Brewing Company Ales and Mount Hope Wines are available at eight pour houses throughout the Shire. Bacchus Retreat invites guests to sample Mount Hope Wines before purchasing them for pick-up later in the Wine Tower upon leaving the Shire.
Faire visitors also have the option of the Shire’s only sit-down, air-conditioned table-side food service at the Anchor & Mermaid Tavern. Feast on a menu of international dishes including menu options for the knippers and the veggie-lovers. Singers of songs, tellers of tales, rabble and royalty often stop in the Tavern for a visit.
The day’s events culminate in an action packed Ultimate Joust, a preeminent blend of equestrian skill and hand-to-hand combat. Pyrotechnics light up the sky and harrowing stunts create the drama of a joust to the death. Knights, steeds, villagers, nobility and the Royal Court, each play a role in this breathtaking spectacle while onlookers cheer on their champion or mourn them in defeat.
Each of the 13 Faire weekends is especially themed, making a return visit a must. Each theme welcomes different performers and entertainment with special contests and activities to involve Faire patrons. Themed weekends include Myths and Legends, Chivalry and Romance, Invasion and Return of the Pyrates, Scottish & Irish, Heroes of the Realm, Children’s Fantasy, Time Travelers, Oktoberfest, Wine Harvest, and three Halloween Daze & Spooky Knights Weekends. Return to the Past Passes are available for purchase each Faire day after 2:00 PM at the Informistress Booth at a steeply discounted price providing the opportunity for visitors to return again and again.
At the Finale in Song, guests join the entire cast in a musical extravaganza celebrating the end of another fun-filled day upon the Shire. The wondrous fantasy that is the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire is held Saturdays, Sundays, and Labor Day Monday, August 1 through October 25, 11 AM – 8 PM. Adult admission is $30.95 and child admission, ages 5 to 11, is $11.95. Parking is free, but games, rides, foods, beverages, and crafts have additional costs. Visit PaRenFaire.com for complete show details, advanced click-to-print discount tickets, and helpful tips for a fun-filled Faire day. Visitors can save $5 off with advanced ticket purchases. Information is also available through the Faire Box Office by calling (717) 665-7021.
The Faire is set amidst the splendor of the formal gardens of Mount Hope Estate & Winery, Route 72, ½ mile south of PA Turnpike Exit 266, 15 miles north of Lancaster and 14 miles east of Hershey.
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