At the 33rd season of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, visitors will step into the role of life as a 16th century villager, starting August 3 and continuing Saturdays, Sunday, and Labor Day Monday through October 27.
The year is 1588 and Her Majesty’s favorite Shire of Mount Hope is preparing for Her Grande arrival. While England is enjoying a period of peace, there is unrest just outside its borders in Ireland. The capture of Red Hugh O’Donnell, leader of the Irish rebellion, appears to be a victory, but there is a greater force arriving in Mount Hope. The Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley has come to face Her Majesty and state her case for freedom.
As the drama unfolds, scheduled entertainments continue throughout the day with displays of music, dance, kid’s activities, and action-packed shows, from the Ultimate Joust and Human Chess Match to Shakespearean plays. Scores of vendors and handcraft artisans, food booths offering a taste for everyone, and libations including Swashbuckler Ales and Mount Hope Wines await Faire guests.
Delectable tastes originate from twenty-four Royal Kitchens dotting the Shire. Each kitchen has its own unique culinary offering and brandish names like Fiele – The Celtic Kitchen, Tutberry’s Tuber Tavern, Die Deutsche Kuche, New World Inne, Rustico Italiana, Dark Knight Café, Sir Williams Hall, The Queen’s Confectionary and more. Refreshing Swashbuckler ales and Mount Hope Wines are available at eight pour houses throughout the Shire. Bacchus Retreat invites guests to sample Mount Hope Wines, free of charge, before purchasing them for pick-up later in the Wine Tower upon leaving the Shire.
Comedy, drama, and mischief unfold on each of the open-air stages with over 90 shows daily. Exciting displays of magicians, jugglers, dare-devil tumblers, and other street act performers leave audiences breathless. Shakespeare’s plays spring to life on the Faire’s own three-story replica of London’s Globe Theater just as they were performed in the days of old. The exciting Human Chess Match, played on a massive 40’ x 40’ chess board, is a stunt-filled show full of hand-to-hand combat and sword fighting skill.
The entertainment is endless as the citizens of the Shire fill the streets with improvised action including song, swordplay, and even mud begging. Man-powered rides, a lifelike fencing game known as the Fight Circle, a Dungeon Museum and an Amazing Maze all add to the thrill of the Shire.
The day’s events culminate in an action packed Ultimate Joust, a premiere combination of equestrian skill and hand-to-hand combat. Pyrotechnics light up the sky and harrowing stunts create the drama of an Elizabethan joust to the death. Knights, steeds, villagers, nobility and the Queen herself, each play a role in this breathtaking spectacle.
Each of the 13 Faire weekends is especially themed making a return visit a must. Each theme welcomes different performers and entertainment including contests and activities to involve Faire patrons. Some themed weekends include Chivalry and Romance weekend, Invasion and Return of the Pyrates, Children’s Fantasy, Scottish & Irish weekends, Oktoberfest, and Heroes of the Realm weekend where the Faire honors all heroes past and present who have dedicated their lives to help protect and serve others.
At the Finale in Song, guests join the entire cast in a musical extravaganza where everyone is invited to celebrate the end of another fun-filled day at the Shire. The wondrous fantasy that is the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire is held Saturdays, Sundays, and Labor Day Monday for 13 weekends, 11 AM – 8 PM, August 3 through October 27. Adult admission is $29.95 and child admission, ages 5 to 11, is $10.95. 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. Information is 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.