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Saturday, September 21, 2013


Once mid-August arrives here in Minnesota, I know that the leaves will soon be changing colors and fall will be just around the corner.  While I love this time of year, I’m even more excited because mid-August also brings one of my favorite late summer celebrations, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival!

My friends Steve and Todd in full costume.

The festival, which began in 1971, is one of the oldest and largest Renaissance fairs in the United States.  Each year approximately 300,000 people visit the 22-acre site at Shakopee (just west of Minneapolis) to take part in the fun and revelry.  With some 275 crafter/artisans, 120 food vendors and 11 performance stages, there is food, entertainment and fun for folks of all ages.

"Quoth the Raven . . ."

Throne of Swords.

Since several nationally known performers have gotten their start at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, including Penn and Teller and The Flying Karamozov Brothers juggling troupe, I always wonder as I wander around the grounds each year, which of the current acts will be the next to make it to “The Big Time.”

Fire Jugglers . . . 

 . . . Entertain the crowd.

While the Festival isn’t always historically accurate - you will find Renaissance ladies and lords comfortably communing with Hobbits, fairies and fauns – it is an amazingly fun time.  Even the food is eclectic.  A must have for me each year are the Scotch eggs and the bangers and mash.  These along with the shepherd’s pie and the turkey drumsticks are probably the only truly “authentic” food items there.  I also must confess, that I always have to treat myself to the deep fried cheese curds – a staple at all Minnesota fairs, festivals, and events, and another “must have” weakness of mine.

Much the Miller Entertained us.

My friend Sue.

To the Manor Born!

The King and Queen, along with their royal court, stopped by.

The Minnesota Renaissance festival runs from mid-August to the end of September each year, and if you’re in the area, I highly recommend that you check it out.  There are shows and activities for all ages, and everyone is certain to have a great time.

The elephant rides were very popular.

Dances with snakes!

The young Prince wooing a lass.

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