Monday, September 24, 2012

Instant Village

As we were leaving the Maryland Renaissance Festival yesterday, I stopped and asked a period dressed hostess how many people had passed through the gates that day.

“We had somewhere between twenty-two and twenty-five thousand revelers in the village today,” she replied.

I knew it was a big crowd but I didn’t realize it was that big. I wondered if that was close to some kind of record.

“No. We once got pretty close to thirty thousand,” and added, “that was a lot of people.”

I thought twenty-two thousand was a lot of people but the weekend period village of Revel Grove is spread out over 25 acres so it never felt claustrophobic. If anything, the large number of attendees made the overall experience more festive.

Some of those attendees go all out in getting into the whole medieval spirit thing.

There were lots of things that made us laugh too. Who knew the 16th century could be so funny?
The wooded setting is perfect too. Yesterday it was cool under the trees yet warm in the open air spots near the Kings Field jousting arena. This is one of the few places you can go to enjoy Maryland’s official sport.

There is a HoCo connection too. The festival began in 1976 on what was then undeveloped land behind Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, some of which is now the Village of Hickory Ridge and the interchange of Broken Land Parkway and Route 29.  It moved to Crownsville in 1985 where it could finally erect structures that could stay in place year round.

The 36th Maryland Renaissance Festival runs every weekend up until October 21st. If you plan on going, plan on going early. The gates open at 10:30 AM and by 11:30 the traffic begins to clog up the two lane roads leading to the site.

If you haven’t been, it is well worth the price of admission, especially on those gorgeous fall days like yesterday.

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